A general election was held in Québec (Canada) on April 7th, 2014. The Parti Libéral du Québec (PLQ), under the lead of Philippe Couillard, won the elections, and now has 70 seats at the National Assembly – enough to form a majority government. On April 23rd, 2014, the new Premier, Philippe Couillard, officially unveiled his cabinet, with no less than 26 ministers.
Among them is François Blais, who has just been elected as a new MP for the PLQ (in the electoral district of Charlesbourg, in Quebec-city). Blais will be the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity in the Couillard government.
François Blais – formerly Dean of Faculty at Laval University, Québec – is a long-standing advocate of basic income, and a Life Member of BIEN. In 2001, he published an introductory book on basic income in French, which was translated into English in 2002: “Ending Poverty. A Basic Income for all Canadians” (Lorimer Publishing).
Basic income, however, was not part of the PLQ platform for this general election. It is doubtful that François Blais, as a Minister of Employment, will be able to put it on the agenda. On April 24, 2014, the daily Le Devoir wrote: “Philippe Couillard appointed François Blais as his Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity. Blais, formerly Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Laval University, is above all an advocate of a guaranteed minimum income. However, the Premier did not give a mandate to the new Minister to implement this ambitious reform”.
Article in Le Devoir (in French)
CBC report (in English)