An embarassing scandal has knocked the PQ government on its butt and got a cabinet minister turfed out of her job.
Premier Jacques Parizeau got skewered in the National Assembly this month by opposition politicians accusing him of trying to influence a government-owned TV station’s coverage of the PQ sovereignty campaign.
“This is the heart of the government’s attempts to use every single lever at its disposal as a government to further its objective of separation,” Liberal leader Daniel Johnson told reporters.
The premier’s office acknowledged in late January that Parizeau’s wife met the head of Radio-Quebec. They discussed the TV station’s coverage of political issues.
And PQ vice-president Monique Simard also acknowledged that she had “informally” discussed with Radio-Quebec the coverage it could give the PQ’s public hearings on sovereignty.
Johnson said Radio-Quebec isn’t supposed to be the PQ’s propaganda tool. It’s not even supposed to report news since it’s mandate is to be an educational broadcaster.
The scandal cost PQ Culture and Communications Minister Rita Dionne-Marsolais her job. As minister, she was responsible for Radio-Quebec. Parizeau fired her after she tried to appoint own of her own fundraisers to head the TV station, a move that landed her in a whole heap of trouble.
After the firing, Parizeau took on the culture and communications portfolio himself, which means this mad hatter now has three jobs—he’s also Premier and Native Affairs Minister.