Quebec government demonstrates 'lack of transparency' in pandemic dealings: opposition

A year after COVID-19 first appeared in Quebec, the government has not been transparent enough when it comes to the pandemic, according to official opposition leader Dominique Anglade.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Anglade argued that when a government grants itself extraordinary powers, it must demonstrate equally extraordinary transparency. 

The Liberal leader brought up several examples of what she called a lack of transperency within the Legault government. 

According to Anglade, since the start of the pandemic, the government has awarded 669 contracts to purchase equipment worth $3 billion. 

Premier Francois Legault ordered masks last year without disclosing the costs, according to Anglade, who said the expenses were likely "exorbitant."

In addition, she said that neither Legault, nor Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda, have made some written opinions of Quebec public health public, which they had committed to doing in the past. 

Several access to information requests were refused or lost “in the maze of government administration,” she said. 

Finally, the criteria associated with the government’s color coded ‘zones’ have not been adequately explained to the population, she said.

“The lack of transparency ... since the start of the pandemic combined with the premier’s refusal to hold a true independent public inquiry has fueled ... suspicion,” Anglade said. 

-- This report by the Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 4, 2021.  

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