Montreal

Danielle McCann out as health minister as François Legault shakes up cabinet

Danielle McCann, who has been at the forefront of the Quebec government's response to the pandemic, and Simon Jolin-Barrette, who has overseen the province's immigration reforms, are both being shuffled out of their posts.

Shuffle also sees Simon Jolin-Barrette moved out of immigration

Quebec Premier François Legault, left, announced a cabinet shuffle Monday at the National Assembly. Danielle McCann, the former minister of health, looks on. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Danielle McCann, who has been at the forefront of the Quebec government's response to the pandemic, has been replaced as health minister in a major overhaul of François Legault's government.

Treasury Board President Christian Dubé will take over the health portfolio as the province prepares for a possible second wave of COVID-19. 

Legault said Monday he is looking to Dubé to "breathe new life" into the ministry. He said urgent reforms are needed to better manage regional health authorities and modernize the way information is shared within the health-care system.

In that regard, Legault said, "we are really in the stone age."

McCann had a long career in the health-care sector before entering politics, while Dubé's background is in finance.

Legault said, however, that Dubé has experience in management and improvements in that regard are needed to ensure the health-care system is better run. 

"Ms. McCann did a lot in a year and a half, but there's still a lot to do," he said. "I think that right now we have to work on the organization and the accountability of the people in the health-care system."

Dubé's last piece of legislation, Bill 61, aimed at jump-starting the economy, was widely criticized and ultimately blocked by the opposition earlier this month.

Justice Minister Sonia LeBel will take over his position and will have the responsibility of revising the bill when the National Assembly returns after the summer break.

Watch: Legault explains his decision to appoint a new health minister

Danielle McCann has been moved to education after overseeing the health sector during the pandemic 1:07

Changes to education, immigration

McCann, for her part, takes on the role of minister of higher education.

The change splits responsibility for the Education Ministry between two ministers, with Jean-François Roberge maintaining the rest of the education portfolio.

Legault said the move will allow Roberge focus on elementary and high schools during the pandemic.

Nadine Girault is the province's new minister of immigration. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, another high-profile member of cabinet who oversaw a series of controversial and at times failed reforms, is being moved to the Ministry of Justice.

Nadine Girault, minister of international relations, will keep her current role while also taking over the immigration file, currently held by Jolin-Barrette.

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