CAQ MNAs refuse to meet with spokespersons of professionals and technicians employed in the health and social services system

November 20, 2020

Montréal – Members of the APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux) demonstrated today in front of the riding offices of four Coalition avenir Québec MNAs in Montréal, Lanaudière, the Laurentians and Montérégie. APTS members were denouncing the fact that some CAQ MNAs have refused to meet with their spokespersons, who wanted to discuss issues related to current public-sector contract talks.

“When he was elected, François Legault promised that his party’s MNAs would stay close to the ground and to the people they represent,” noted APTS president Andrée Poirier in front of the office of Chantal Rouleau, MNA for Pointe-aux-Trembles and minister responsible for the Montréal region. “After two years in power, it’s clear that many have forgotten the premier’s words. Refusing to meet the spokespersons of our 56,000 members is unacceptable. We’re here today to remind them that they have obligations to the people of their ridings.”

The APTS points out that the health and social services system is now close to the breaking point, the private sector is increasingly being called in to make up for the negligence of previous years, employees are getting sick as a result of work overload, and the stress of the pandemic is adding fuel to the fire. Given this context, Quebecers in the greater Montréal region have cause to be concerned when a number of CAQ MNAs from the region categorically refuse to meet with the APTS.

“If Chantal Rouleau, the minister responsible for Montréal, won’t meet the spokespersons of professionals and technicians from her own region, how can she represent them within her government?” demands Daniel Dubé, provincial representative for the CIUSSS du Nord-de l’Île-de-Montréal. “How can she tell the Legault Cabinet – or Treasury Board president Sonia Lebel, who’s in charge of public-sector contract talks – about the fact that professionals and technicians are constantly dealing with work overload and are completely exhausted as a result? One message is coming through loud and clear: the CAQ couldn’t care less about health care and social services in Montréal.”

The APTS is grateful to CAQ MNAs from other Québec regions who agreed to meet its spokespersons or, at least, sent a member of their office staff to take time to understand the state of the health and social services system in their riding and the issues underlying public-sector contract talks.

“When you’re elected to the National Assembly, you’re there to understand and convey voters’ concerns. Many MNAs understand this, and I’m grateful to them,” concludes Andrée Poirier. “But I also think that Premier Legault needs to call his uncooperative MNAs to order. And he should also remind his ministers, especially those who are responsible for a specific region, that they have obligations to the people they represent – including employees of the health and social services system.”

The APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux) represents a total of 56,000 members who play a key role in ensuring that health and social services institutions run smoothly. Our members provide a wide range of services for the population as a whole, including diagnostic, rehabilitation, nutrition, psychosocial intervention, clinical support, and prevention services.