Editorial: Missed Opportunities

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food André Lamontagne and MNA for Côte-du-Sud Marie-Eve Proulx can continue to blame the elected officials of Kamouraska-L’Islet, who now arrived late in the veterinary file confirmed in Rimouski. The truth is that the two elected members of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) have failed in their duties: the first to defend its “flagship” of agricultural education, the ITAQ, the second to defend the interests of its riding on Côte-du- sud.

Back in time. We are in January 2020. Marie-Eve Proulx is currently still Minister of Regional Economic Development and Minister responsible for Bas-Saint-Laurent. In the offices of his colleague André Lamontagne, since his election, we have drunk all the literature that has been produced over time on the subject of the ITA, with the aim of proposing a bill that will change its status into a permanent and lasting .

At the same time, the Minister’s attention was drawn to the project for a decentralized Faculty of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Montreal (UdeM) to the University of Quebec in Rimouski (UQAR), a project aimed at solving a problem that we have already presented to him: the shortage of veterinarians, especially for large animals. The project is still in its infancy, but the minister never seems to suggest that it might be interesting to see La Pocatière before Rimouski as a place of training, a matter of reproducing the same model underway in Saint-Hyacinthe , while he plans in his future bill to give all necessary leeway to the ITA, which will become the ITAQ, to provide university education.

September 3, 2020. André Lamontagne, Marie-Eve Proulx and the Minister of Higher Education Danielle McCann are in Rimouski, announcing the $630,000 grant for a study into options to assess the decentralization of the UdeM’s veterinary medicine program to UQAR. We are two and a half months away from the introduction of Bill 77 that will form the ITAQ, provide it with a board of directors and give it all the autonomy it desires in the field of education to secure its future. Marie-Eve Proulx and André Lamontagne smile at the camera, the first without ever mobilizing its local elected officials behind the scenes to obtain this promising and complementary training to what is already offered in La Pocatière in its own province and the region it represents, the second without thinking of the suggestion of linking the future pavilion to be built with the new institution it will preparing to create with the submission of its bill on November 26.

Here’s the blunt truth: a sequence of missed opportunities by two CAQ MNAs who, in the case of Marie-Eve Proulx, were supposed to have the development of her region at heart, and for André Lamontagne, to provide every opportunity to “his school”, the ITAQ, which he wanted to keep under the auspices of the MAPAQ and partly re-join university education in La Pocatière, as in the past at the time of the Faculty of Agronomy. By negligence, indifference or impossibility – let them acknowledge it or demonstrate it publicly! -, both saw the train go by without ever objecting, a train that only wanted to cling to the “flagship” that Minister Lamontagne has always praised, a lack of vision that their elected office is unworthy.

Unless there’s a government mea culpa in this case — which would be surprising — veterinary medicine will be deployed in a brand-new pavilion to be built in Rimouski for $100 million, according to Radio-Canada, a college town like La Pocatière, of course, but known for its mainly maritime expertise, while the desire is to train at least 50% of major veterinarians within the first cohort expected before 2024. And to explain this choice, we call on extremely high standards from the part of the American Veterinary Medical Association to justify the creation of this pavilion in Rimouski instead of La Pocatière, without even listing them, while UQAR with $ 100 million clearly does not respond to such strict rules as the ITAQ.

Worse, we are even taking the opportunity to play condescending petty politics by blaming the elected officials of Kamouraska-L’Islet for inviting themselves into the debate far too late, while they, the first to were aware, did not deign. to propose La Pocatière or to mobilize the active forces of the community in this direction. Faced with a lack of arguments, the human reflex often remains the same: blaming others instead of taking responsibility for one’s own mistakes.

In addition, André Lamontagne promised by letter to answer questions from elected officials of Kamouraska-L’Islet about the decentralization of this program with his colleague Danielle McCaan, on the sidelines of the announcement in Rimouski. Despite an obligatory passage of the two limousines through La Pocatière to reach Rimouski on May 24, neither saw it appropriate to stop on the way there or back.

As for Marie-Eve Proulx, who now wants to rally around her committee on the future of agricultural and animal education and research — not a bad idea — she’s doing very badly by pointing her finger at elected officials in his “letter of convocation” of which The Placoteux received a copy, reminding them that last year they often responded at midnight to a file in the hot files of veterinary medicine or even the general management of the ITAQ. Even if it has the benefit of the doubt to act today with the best of intentions to better prepare for the future, the fact remains that the least we could have done was to acknowledge his mistakes in these two files, instead of bringing the odious to those. who wants to bring it together today. Is not confessed guilt half forgiven, as the saying goes?

In short, the trivial outcome of this whole charade is only matched by the arrogance of this all-powerful government flaunting at the top of the voting intentions in Quebec, without any real opposition. Will voters remember when the time comes? Unfortunately, since memory is a faculty that forgets, it would be surprising if it lasted as long as another faculty, that of veterinary medicine, which still retains this impression of vitality to this day. election candidate Maïté Blanchette Vézina in Rimouski, a ride the CAQ hopes to win in the next election.

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