Hecatomb in the CHSLD | A total of five assignments for two ministers

(Quebec) Coroner Géhane Kamel has sent a total of five subpoenas to two ministers to testify as part of her investigation into the first wave of CHSLD deaths.

Posted at 3:46 p.m.
Updated at 7:22 p.m.

Caroline Plante
The Canadian Press

This was clarified on Tuesday by the Minister of Justice, Simon Jolin-Barrette, during the study of his ministry’s budget appropriations.

He had just had a lengthy conversation with La Pinière Liberal MP Gaétan Barrette about the number of ministers who had been assigned to testify.

Based on a response from the Coroner’s Office to a request for access to information, Mr Barrette argued that no fewer than five ministers had been summoned.

Which Mr. Jolin-Barrette strongly denied.

According to him, only two ministers had been called to the bar: former Health Minister Danielle McCann and Seniors Minister Marguerite Blais.

“There are two ministers who have been assigned; the two appeared. It ends there, ”he insisted.

It was later clarified that these two ministers had received a total of five subpoenas.

“(Former Minister of Health) has been assigned three times, and the Minister responsible for Seniors has been assigned twice by the coroner,” said Simon Jolin-Barrette

The Coroner’s Office also issued a statement on Tuesday, specifying the information sent to the Liberal Party of Quebec.

“After checks, the five assignments.” […] are the testimonies of Ministers McCann and Blais, as well as that of (former) Deputy Minister of Health Yvan Gendron, ”said Jake Lamotta Granato.

“It should be noted that an summons is an order to appear before a coroner on a given date.” However, if the hearing schedule changes, a new assignment must be forwarded to the witness. »

“Mr. Géhane Kamel has heard from all the ministerial authorities that he wants to hear as part of his extensive investigation,” Granato added.

On Tuesday, the PLQ also sought to learn more about the agreement reached between the Coroner’s Office and the Attorney General of Quebec in connection with testimony.

According to the Coroner’s Office, “various emails were exchanged between Coroner’s Office prosecutors.” […] and those of the Attorney General ”have been traced. But “these exchanges are a matter of professional secrecy.”

In an interview on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Barrette rebelled against the “abuse of non-transparency”.

Géhane Kamel, who has heard some 220 witnesses, is due to file his report on CHSLD deaths during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic before the summer.

In the spring of 2020, in Quebec, nearly 4,000 seniors died in CHSLD, some in total loneliness, and not being fed or hydrated.

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