Children’s rights and youth protection | François Legault discredits the Laurent commission monitoring committee

The Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault, openly discredited, on Wednesday, the work of the monitoring committee of the Special Commission on the Rights of Children and Youth Protection (CSDEPJ)

The committee published its analysis on Wednesday morning of the progress of the government’s actions to implement the recommendations of the Laurent report, tabled three years ago.

The committee based its analysis on the data available in the most recent assessment (2021-2023) of the government action plan “Committing to our children”, produced in response to the recommendations of the Laurent Commission.

The committee identified inconsistencies in Quebec’s assessment, that is to say measures that the government associates with a sub-recommendation, but which, according to the committee, are not consistent with certain courses of action in the report. Lawrence.

In an interview Tuesday with The Canadian Press, Martine Desjardins, president of the CSDEPJ monitoring committee, gave the example of measure 2.8.4 where the commission requested that children who are the subject of placement under the Act of youth protection can remain in their living environment, daycare or school, when it is in their interest.

“The government says in its report that it disseminates ministerial guidelines to ensure a harmonious transition when changing schools. It can be a good measure, but it does not respond to recommendation 2.8.4 which called for keeping children in their living environment,” she explains.

According to government data, 42% of sub-recommendations are ongoing or completed. The committee does not reach the same conclusion; instead it calculates 30% based on inconsistencies. Following its analysis, the committee affirms that only one of the 65 recommendations was completed by the Legault government, while the latter maintains that 11 recommendations are completed.

At the Salon bleu, François Legault decried the work of the monitoring committee and defended its results based on the open letter from the former commissioner, Régine Laurent, published Tuesday in the media.

“It is not a government monitoring committee, it is a monitoring committee which was set up by Martine Desjardins (…) with other people, but I trust Régine Laurent who was president of the Commission which tells us that things are going in the right direction,” argued the Prime Minister.

Mr. Legault later added in an exchange with the interim leader of the Liberal Party, Marc Tanguay: “we cannot proclaimed ourselves a monitoring committee.”

Mr. Tanguay asserted that the Prime Minister was attempting to discredit the monitoring committee.

The government’s parliamentary leader, Simon Jolin-Barrette, responded that these were “hurtful comments” and “malicious intentions and bad faith.”

Several parliamentarians started booing, visibly in disagreement with Mr. Jolin-Barette.

The President of the National Assembly, Nathalie Roy, ruled that “criticism of the behavior of the adversary, which may not be pleasant”, is permitted.

The spat between MM. Tanguay and Legault continued. The Liberal leader argued that Mr. Legault “cannot attempt to discredit the monitoring committee when it brings together, among others, the Marie-Vincent Foundation, the Toddler Observatory, the Early Childhood Collective.”

“It’s them who tell him that their business isn’t working,” said Mr. Tanguay.

Mr. Legault responded that his government had taken several actions to improve the situation, including appointing a national director of the DPJ, Catherine Lemay.

For his part, the minister responsible for Social Services, Lionel Carmant, said he would invite Mme Desjardins and his teams to sit down and look at the elements one by one. “We are going to explain everything that has progressed since the report was submitted because things have changed on the ground,” maintained Mr. Carmant.

Like his leader, he also relied on the letter from Mme Laurent to say that she recognized that “things are progressing significantly”.

In the press scrum, Mr. Carmant stated that he did not understand certain points of the monitoring committee. “He said for example that on (the aspect of) keeping children close we were not in action, but (the program) “My family, my community” is exactly that. Before removing the child from his environment, we hold a meeting, we bring everyone together to ensure that he stays as close to his family as possible in his community. So there are things that are discordant. »

Minister Carmant also stressed that the committee was based on 2023 data (the most recent available), but that over the past year, the government had made progress.

The Canadian Press’ health content receives funding through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. The Canadian Press is solely responsible for editorial choices.


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