Montreal

Legault to make Éric Girard finance minister, give immigration portfolio to Simon Jolin-Barrette

Premier-designate François Legault is turning to a trio of MNAs with experience in banking and finance to take the helm of key economic portfolios in the new Coalition Avenir Québec government.

Radio-Canada reports premier-designate will turn to trio of MNA with banking experience for key economic posts

Premier-designate François Legault will unveil his cabinet at a ceremony in Quebec City tomorrow. MNA Eric Girard is expected to be finance minister. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Premier-designate François Legault is turning to a trio of MNAs with experience in banking and finance to take the helm of key economic portfolios in the new Coalition Avenir Québec government.

Radio-Canada is reporting that Éric Girard, a former executive at National Bank, will be named finance minister at the swearing-in ceremony in Quebec City Thursday afternoon.

Pierre Fitzgibbon, who worked at a private equity firm before the election, will be made minister of the economy.

Christian Dubé, a former senior executive with Quebec's pension manager, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, will become president of the Treasury Board. 

According to Radio-Canada, 31-year-old Simon Jolin-Barrette will be given the task of piloting the CAQ's controversial immigration reforms.

Simon Jolin-Barrette, 31, is considered a rising star within the CAQ. (CBC)
 

Legault has indicated he wants to reduce by 20 per cent the number of immigrants Quebec accepts annually, as well as impose new requirements for newcomers to pass language and values tests.

The proposal has been met with opposition from Quebec's business community, as well as civil society groups. 

Education, health high-profile spots

Health and education also promise to be high-profile portfolios in Legault's government. During the campaign, Legault said he will create free pre-kindergarten spaces for four-year-olds.

He also blasted the Liberals for their health-care reforms. Legault's own proposals are less clear, but he did float the idea of building a new network of seniors' residences.

Danielle McCann, who once headed Montreal's public health authority, is slated to become health minister, Radio-Canada said Wednesday. 

Jean-François Roberge, a school teacher before entering provincial politics in 2014, is to be named education minister. 

Other cabinet portfolios confirmed by Radio-Canada include:

  • Sonia LeBel, justice. 
  • Chantal Rouleau, municipal affairs.
  • Marguerite Blais, seniors.
  • Lionel Carmant, early childhood education.

It is not yet clear whether the new cabinet will include a minister responsible for the anglophone community, as was the case with the Liberals. 

The full CAQ cabinet is scheduled to be announced at 2 p.m. ET Thursday. It will mark the first time since 1970 that the province is governed by a party other than the Liberals or Parti Québécois.

The CAQ swept to power in the Oct. 1 election, winning 74 seats in the 125-seat legislature. That gives them a comfortable majority over the Opposition Liberals, who have 29 seats.

Based on a report by Radio-Canada's National Assembly bureau