The Liberal Party of Quebec and the Parti Quebecois suspect the government of having “fabricated” a document to bypass the questions of coroner Géhane Kamel on deaths in CHSLDs.
Me Kamel is seeking to obtain the CHSLD inspection reports that were produced during the first wave of COVID-19. For any response, she received Monday a “blank report” accompanied by an “Excel sheet”. “What do I do with this?” She asked incredulously. She then reserved the right to summon inspectors to testify.
The document in question was created on November 16, 2021, the same day the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Seniors and Caregivers Branch, Natalie Rosebush, testified at the coroner’s inquest. At that time, the senior official declared that Quebec had kept no record of inspections carried out in CHSLDs and retirement homes (RPA) during the first wave of the pandemic. Radio-Canada then revealed that there were indeed backup copies, and the government forwarded the blank report and the Excel sheet.
“From what we understand, we said that it was a reconstruction, that it was a fabrication dated November 16. So, if the information turns out and we fabricated documents without specifying that it is a fabrication, that too is a major lie, it is the fabrication of forgery ”, launched PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.
“We had a painting that was fabricated from scratch on November 16, the very day the Assistant Deputy Minister appeared before the coroner,” Liberal André Fortin also underlined.
At Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois did not want to push the allegations so far. “I won’t go there. I have no information that would allow me to make allegations like that, but it is proof that the coroner, at the moment, is encountering obstacles and that these obstacles are on the side of the government, ”he said.
The Liberals then called on the government to “stop messing around with information” and show “full transparency”. “We owe it to the families of people who have died and who want to know the conditions under which these people died,” said Mr. Fortin. He said he understood the “exasperation” of Coroner Kamel. “The Minister of Health at the time lies before the coroner, lies under oath. When we see that we are sending fragmentary information, which is not satisfactory, which does not allow its work to be done, in its place, I too would be frustrated, ”he said.
Independent public inquiry
The PQ has reformulated its request to hold a public and independent inquiry into the management of the pandemic. “And asks to hear again, to force the witnesses again to explain the incompatibility, the total confusion in the testimonies since the start of the coroner’s inquest”, underlined Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon . “Because it’s starting to look like hindrance, obstruction, a government that does not want to collaborate with the coroner who has the mandate, however, to shed light on what happened during the first wave. “
Mr. Nadeau-Dubois, for his part, declared that “it does not[avait] no appearance that we are not able to shed light, to have the inspection reports that took place in the CHSLDs as part of an investigation, the purpose of which is to shed light on what happened in the CHSLDs ”.
“If we are not able to have that, it is not tomorrow the day before that we will find out what happened to the government’s crisis management unit there. This is why we need a much broader, much deeper exercise: [une] independent public inquiry, ”he insisted.