Yes, he’s smiling. You would be too.
The government of Jean Charest announced plans to table a bill that will do nothing short of “initiating a complete in the construction industry that will mark a new era in work relations [in the province],” according to the very quotable words of Industry Minister Lise Thériault. The report (English-language highlights courtesy of the Gazette here) includes measures to remove significant power from the various construction unions. It is the fruit of a lengthy commission overseen by a five member….
Oh, hell, let’s just get on with the applause, shall we? It’s for you, Mr. Charest. A year ago our Premier’s numbers were in the cellar, the PQ had the force of public opinion behind it (as far as the construction business was concerned, anyway), a fellow named François Legault was far and away the province’s most popular politician even though he wasn’t running for anything, and hardly a day went by where he or one of his ministers was under attack for some sort of alleged skullduggery. In short, everything was sticking, and everything sucked.
Now where are we? The PQ is in full-blown Gong Show mode, François Legault has yet to start his party—and is still well short of its fundraising goals, from what I hear—and whatever lingering collective fury that remains over the construction industry will be in large part placated by this dandy, well-timed little report. Is it any good? Probably. Will Theriault’s Bill do anything? Yeah, sure, maybe. But that’s not the gobsmackingly-impressive part: it seems, with this construction-industry-overhaul-à-la-sauce-électorale, it seems Charest is going to ride out yet another storm.