The hard winter

We have turkey for 20 people. Fearing the shortage, consumers rushed to the SAQ to make sure it was well watered. Everywhere in Quebec, we promised ourselves “normal” holidays. Despite the meteoric progress of the Omicron variant and the warnings from Ottawa, now ordering the cancellation or reduction of gatherings would cause immense disappointment.

National public health director Dr Horacio Arruda spoke last week of a ‘calculated risk’, but the wording of his recommendation and his repeated calls for caution give the distinct impression that he would rather not take it. .

The Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, does not hide his concern at the possibility of a new overflow of hospitals and the shortage of personnel, including for the administration of the third dose.

We understand that Mr. Legault is reluctant to withdraw another time, but the opposition parties will not hesitate to hold him responsible for an explosion of outbreaks at the beginning of the year, which risks quickly making you forget the magic of Christmas .

Faced with the obviousness of the danger, he began to prepare the spirits for a new about-face which would leave a more bitter taste than that of last year. His haste again put him in a lose-lose situation.

No matter how much he pleads that the new variant has swept the whole planet, comparing yourself to others does not necessarily console when you yourself are plunged into misfortune.

With each new wave, the population was asked to make an effort that was to be the last. Now the second dose is not enough and we must return to telework. The feeling of always being back at square one can only fuel dissatisfaction.

Winter is shaping up to be tough for the government. After the difficult weeks that the trial of his management of the first wave in CHSLDs put him through, he could hope that the worst was over, but the hasty return of Marguerite Blais does not bode well.

Of course, we wished her a speedy recovery from her burnout, but not fast enough for her to be able to testify before coroner Géhane Kamel, who had the unfortunate idea of ​​continuing her hearings beyond what was foreseen.

Mme Blais must have taken careful note of the treatment that was given to her colleague Danielle McCann, who was literally thrown under the wheels of the bus, and she certainly does not hear the same fate.

In 2018, the former liberal minister was welcomed as a real heroine at the CAQ, when she agreed to defend her colors in Prévost. She then brought the touch of empathy that this team of business people lacked, but she is now seen as a drag.

However, she will not agree to serve as a scapegoat for the appalling mess of CHSLDs. As she did in her memorable interview on the show Investigation, she will say instead that her warnings were ignored. Soon after the final report of the Commissioner for Health and Welfare, which promises to be more robust than her interim report, and, towards the end of winter, that of the coroner.

As the presence of the virus tends to become a reality with which we must learn to live permanently, other issues obscured by the pandemic will reappear on the radar of public opinion, which will no longer judge the government simply on its management of the health crisis.

Passing through Duty this week, the head of the PLQ, Dominique Anglade, explained that her party was targeting the progressives who voted for the CAQ in 2018, which she considers to represent a quarter of the Caquist electorate. It remains to be seen whether these liberals, disappointed by the Couillard government, will be convinced by the “social-democratic” turn that she wants her party to take.

For his part, the leader of the PQ, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, intends to repatriate the sovereignists who also wanted to get rid of the liberals, but who note that the autonomist claims of the CAQ were popular and who will want to vote “authentic” in October. next.

In this regard, the upcoming by-election in Marie-Victorin will be instructive. The CAQ is convinced of winning easily in this PQ fortress. A loss would be a serious warning. Mr. Legault said he expects the gap seen in the polls to narrow in the coming months, but he must hope that the winter is not too harsh.

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