By Robert Frank
The Quebec government gave recently elected Sainte Rose MNA Jean Habel a big vote of confidence last week, when he was named as committees chair for the province’s 41st Parliament.
The appointment means that Habel will have the opportunity to chair a variety of provincial parliamentary commissions.
As a member of the powerful public finance commission, Habel will also get to weigh in on draft legislation aimed at governing how the province is administered and how its money is spent, the provincial budget, the public service, taxation, government services, benefits and pension plans.
“This appointment is tailor-made for my skills,” Habel, a professional accountant, said in a statement, “and a great opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with Finance Minister Carlos Leitão, one of the worlds finest economists, as the government moves toward a balanced budget in 2015-2016.”
The importance of these reponsibilities was not lost on Habel, who is the youngest member of National Assembly,
“The government’s outlook is truly intergenerational,” he acknowledged.
In contrast, the previous Parti québécois government leaned on the star quality of its most prominent youth MNA, Léo Bureau-Blouin, whom it assigned responsibility developing a youth strategy during carefully stage managed hearings last summer. Bureau-Bloiuin skirted minority youth throughout the public audiences.
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