The Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) is concerned about the many Quebecers who, in a context of high inflation, are no longer able to make ends meet. He therefore asks the CAQ government to hold special consultations to hear from organizations on the ground that help the most deprived.
“The cost of food at the grocery store has exploded in recent months. I think the situation is serious,” says PLQ MP Gregory Kelley. With his colleague from the official opposition, Madwa-Nika Cadet, he sent a request for an initiative mandate on the fight against poverty and social exclusion to the Committee on the Economy and Labor on Thursday.
Quebec is currently working on updating the government action plan in this area, he emphasizes. However, for this strategy to be successful, it requires concerted solutions, believes Mr. Kelley. “I think it’s very important that we hear the groups on the ground, because sometimes, honestly, we are far away when we are in our bubble [à l’Assemblée nationale]. »
The PLQ spokesperson for social solidarity and community action is therefore calling for itinerant consultations to be held in order to meet different organizations such as the Quebec Observatory of Inequalities, the Collective for a Quebec Without Poverty and Centraide.
Collecting testimonies in several cities and regions “would make it possible to propose the most appropriate solutions to the government” and thus improve the fate of the most vulnerable, according to him.
Gregory Kelley said he was saddened to learn in the pages of Duty Thursday that it costs much more to escape poverty in a small village than in the large urban centers of Quebec. This is due in particular to the obligation to have a car and the higher price of food in the regions.
The member for Jacques-Cartier, in Montreal, also mentions the fact that food banks like those in his riding struggle to serve all those who need them. “There are people who use food banks and who sometimes work two jobs and are not even able to pay the grocery bill every week. »
Mr. Kelley believes the gravity of the situation requires going beyond partisanship to tackle the problem. “All political parties can work together for the well-being of the most vulnerable people in our society. »
If inflation exceeds the borders of Quebec, the Liberal elected official is of the opinion that this is not a reason “not to act” here on this subject.
Contacted by The dutythe cabinet of Chantal Rouleau, Minister responsible for Social Solidarity and Community Action, maintains that “it is up to the Commission on the Economy and Labor to decide to launch an initiative mandate”.
The Collective for a Quebec without Poverty recalls that it is in favor of a “traveling parliamentary commission with general consultation with a view to developing the next plan [gouvernemental] fight against poverty.
According to the organization’s spokesperson, Virginie Larivière, the Gregory Kelley proposal is interesting, because it “would allow parliamentarians from all political parties to get involved in the consultation process and ensure that Minister Rouleau takes into account what he has been told and delivers the goods. »
Ms. Larivière, however, underlines the openness that Ms. Rouleau has shown so far in the development of the new government action plan in the fight against poverty and social exclusion. Last spring, groups were able, among other things, to submit a brief during the public consultation on this issue.
For its part, the Quebec Observatory of Inequalities says it is ready to contribute to any exercise enabling the issues of poverty and inequality to be tackled “rapidly and sustainably”. “Our analyzes indicate a need to strengthen the social safety net with structuring measures, notably improving income support, in order to make progress in the fight against poverty in Quebec,” says the general director, Nathalie Guay.