New Quebec Premier Phillipe “not-separatist” Couillard has unveiled his new Quebec cabinet. Since we no longer have the ability to understand politicians who do not mindlessly pander to the public, Couillard remains a man of mysteries, and this cabinet is our first glimpse into the enigmatic mind of Quebec’s new glorious leader.
Many of us do not closely follow Quebec politics and the ins-and-outs of the National Assembly, probably because doing so would likely make your brain explode, so here is the beginner’s guide to the new cabinet.
For some reason, the most important thing about Theriault is apparently that she’s a woman. She’s the figurehead of women getting important positions in Couillard’s cabinet, and they want to make sure you know. So, in case you hadn’t noticed, women have important positions in the new cabinet. This has been a public service announcement.
Carlos Leitao: Minister of Finance
Called the second most accurate economic predictor in the world, when asked who beat him, he said, “some guy in California.” Based on all the press releases, the Liberal Party has decided that “Second Best Economist in the World” sounds better than “Best Economist in Canada.” They campaigned on jobs and the economy, so putting a fancy suit-wearing economist in Finance kind of makes sense.
One of the positions that did not exist under Marois, Weil can also be called the Minister of “See We Promised We Would Trash the Charter of Values.” This position is one of the many ministerial portfolios that attempts to make the new government look as completely different from the Marois government as humanly possible. Like, they’re trying really hard.
Robert Poeti: Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for Montreal
The Transport Ministry has been called out by the Charbonneau Commission on corruption more times than the PQ’s polling numbers dropped during the last election. So, what does Couillard do? Appoint a former police officer to the position. If people didn’t suspect that the police force is sometimes corrupt, that would be really comforting. We appreciate the sentiment though, Mr. Couillard.
Summary of the Cabinet
The focus was on three things, two explicit and one implicit. First, they made clear that the goal was to put people with particular expertise in their ministry. That sounds obvious, but go look at previous cabinets, Quebec and otherwise. Some look like they were decided by tarot cards pulled by a drunk monkey. The second is a focus on transparency. Since the public has basically two requests of this government (make the economy marginally better, and don’t be corrupt), Couillard is really hoping his government won’t get caught in some horrible scandal that gets them all get called to the Charbonneau Commission, despite the fact that Minister for Seniors and Families, Francine Charbonneau, has a name eerily similar to that of Justice France Charbonneau. Seriously, it’s freaky. Finally, the goal with this cabinet was to distance the new government as much from the reign of Pauline Marois. Couillard has erected a metaphorical massive fence, electrified, topped with barbed wire.
So there you have it. The new cabinet. Feel better about Quebec yet?