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KQ: A government full of negotiators!

KQ: A government full of negotiators!

We can't help but smile when we think that, given its penchant for business, the Legault government should have assembled an elite team of “dealmakers.”

For crucial negotiations over the conditions of thousands of public sector employees, Treasury Board President Sonia LeBel began by offering a 9% salary increase, finally reaching an agreement of… 17.4%!

We have practically moved from singles to doubles.

It is even greater for some middle-level teachers, as the increase will reach 24%.

This does not sound like Monique Jérôme-Forget, a former strict liberal who refused to deviate from her fiscal framework.

Of course, the situation is no longer the same.

Sonia LeBel could not wave a special law like her predecessors.

In Quebec, the Supreme Court struck down a last resort such a law forcing state lawyers and notaries to return to work in 2019.

The Court of Appeal subsequently upheld this ruling.

At the end of 2022, it was the Ontario Supreme Court that declared Doug Ford's law null and void.

In short, the rules of the game have changed.

But what strategy?

However, we can question the Legault government's strategy.

The Chairman of the Treasury Board then raised the base increase offer to 10.3%, and again to 12.7% in the hope of preventing a strike at the beginning of December.

But once it moved, François Legault was quick to say there was still room to manoeuvre.

It was practically a call for the unions to maintain their position, given the weakness of the government.

The Prime Minister's attempts to rally public support behind him also turned against teachers, who were offended when they saw him pleading for the “good of our children”.

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In a weak position

Despite the realistic importance of not punishing young people, a government that changes its mind away from opportunism on the third link or that supports two Los Angeles Kings games in Quebec with millions cannot be right.

After such mistakes, citizens were not lining up behind Legault in the electoral votes.

In addition to recent court decisions, it is the CAQ's significant unpopularity that will cost Quebecers dearly.

Forced to bend to the will of union members, Quebec will have to find an additional $11 billion in the long run, in our coffers and/or in our pockets.

Not to mention the impact of more than four weeks of strikes on 400,000 young Quebecers deprived of vocational training.

A government full of negotiators.