Quebec ministers responsible for early pandemic response not running for re-election

MONTREAL – Two Quebec cabinet ministers who were responsible for the province’s early response to the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be running for re-election in October.

Danielle McCann, who was Quebec’s health minister in early 2020, and Seniors Minister Marguerite Blais have faced increasing criticism for their handling of a COVID-19 outbreak at a Montreal-area long-term care centre.

Evidence introduced as part of a coroner’s inquest into 47 deaths at the Herron long-term care centre shows that the ministers were aware of problems at the facility 10 days earlier than they had publicly claimed.

Blais and McCann have said they learned about the seriousness of the crisis at the Herron in a Montreal Gazette article published on April 10, 2020. At that point, 31 people had died.

McCann, who is now the minister responsible for higher education, confirmed her plans not to run for re-election on social media this morning, saying she’s becoming a grandmother this spring.

A spokesman for Blais says she will be leaving politics at the end of her current term.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2022.

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