Premier Francois Legault isn’t ruling out extending the spring session of the National Assembly if it means getting key bills adopted.
The CAQ is hoping to pass two major pieces of legislation within the next two weeks before the spring session is set to end. Both bills are controversial: Bill 9 on immigration reform and Bill 21 on religious symbols.
The intensive session at the National Assembly is scheduled to wrap up on June 14, but Legault could extend the session into July or invoke closure by using the party majority to force the bills through within the next two weeks.
“It's urgent that those bills be adopted. I hope to get collaboration,” he said.
Responsible for both bills is Immigration, Inclusiveness and Diversity Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette.
“I think there is enough time to pass the different bills and I'm sure if we work together we are able to succeed,” he said.
Jolin-Barrette said opposition parties aren't making constructive proposals – and he’s accusing them of obstruction.
Opposition parties, though, are pointing the finger squarely at Jolin-Barrette for the last-minute push.
“The government is trying to put the blame on the opposition parties, but the truth is that they did a bad job in planning,” said Quebec Solidaire MNA Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
“It tells me he has a problem - to fix all the agendas of the different bills, which is his main job as house leader,” added Parti Quebecois leader Pascal Berube.
Bills 9 and 21 can’t be rushed through the National Assembly, added Quebec Solidaire MNA Manon Masse.
“It's about taking away rights from people, so it's very important to do what we have to do,” she said.
Asking tough questions and proposing amendments as the parties study the bills is a process that takes time, said Nadeau-Dubois.
“When I look at how much time we have left in commission, it's practically mathematically impossible to be able to adopt those bills,” he said. “For example, the bill on secularism has 32 articles. We only have 33 hours left.”
- With a report from CTV Montreal's Maya Johnson