Legault rejects the reshuffle, the impatient are angry

Legault rejects the reshuffle, the impatient are angry
Legault rejects the reshuffle, the impatient are angry

In Quebec, the ministerial reshuffle, which many expected for June, could be postponed for a few more months.

In doing so, François Legault risks further enraging some of his 87 elected officials who have long dreamed of joining the holy of holies.

Worrying “partial”

The defection of whip Éric Lefebvre, who became an independent and federal conservative candidate in mid-April, had the effect of loosening tongues, says a Source.

The impatient are no longer shy about expressing their fed up, to the point of speaking out loud about it to political opponents, and even subtly threatening to resign, which would have the effect of triggering one or more by-elections.

The fear of other painful defeats like in Jean-Talon, in the fall of 2023, makes everyone nervous at the CAQ. This ballot was made necessary by the departure, in the summer of 2023, of an “impatient”, Joëlle Boutin.

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Quick reshuffle

If by chance François Legault carried out a reshuffle in June, he would have to make hasty, heartbreaking choices.

On the one hand, the pillars of his Council of Ministers appear difficult to move: Dubé (Health), Girard (Finance), Fitzgibbon (Economy), Drainville (Education), LeBel (Treasury). “When we don’t touch on these big issues, what’s the point of doing a reshuffle?” opines a Source.

Legault could well dismiss Éric Caire, whose record in terms of computer files is disastrous. But with what consequence? Risking a by-election in a CAQ fortified castle?

One thing is certain, François Legault will never be able to satisfy all those who dream of being ministers. “And by trying to calm two or three impatient people, he would perhaps create many more!” someone whispers in my ear.

Impatient

In addition to known impatients like Gilles Bélanger (Orford) and Youri Chassin (Saint-Jérôme), one impatient person in particular is talked about.

Alice Abou-Khalil (Fabre) has an impressive resume. In the “Training” section alone, it includes 13 items, including several computer networking certifications. Former cybersecurity auditor for Desjardins Group (2020-2022), she has a Harvard certificate in this subject as well as in risk management.

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Many do not understand why she was not appointed Minister of Cybersecurity in place of Éric Caire. She herself, reports a Source, has already publicly expressed her desire to occupy this position. Parliamentary assistant from Cairo, she would feel underused, notes a Source. Mme Khalil reportedly told the Prime Minister’s Office that in the private sector she could get excellent salaries.

Aware of her frustration at not being a minister, at least one PLQ elected official subtly made her understand that she would be “better treated” in the official opposition. The leader of the Conservative Party Éric Duhaime, “always in recruitment mode”, has her in his sights and even mentioned her in a letter addressed to all CAQ elected officials: “Don’t come and make me believe that a Harvard graduate in cybersecurity would be no better than Mr. Caire to undertake the digital shift.

Lefebvre on edge

Furthermore, as if that were not enough, Éric Lefebvre is also threatening to provoke a partial in Arthabaska. Having become independent, we say it on edge. The break with his former team was brutal, some former colleagues could not digest his departure and let him know. Lefebvre interpreted motion texts from the government recently as a sort of revenge since they put him at odds with his new political party, the Conservative Party of Pierre Poilievre. And he also threatened to provoke a partial election by resigning.

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