“No, Mr. Legault, the problem is not solved in Joliette”

“No, Mr. Legault, the problem is not solved in Joliette”

Joyce Echaquan

A few days after the first leaders' debate, the comments made by the outgoing Prime Minister about the Joliette hospital did not pass. Last Thursday evening, on the occasion of the great political evening, François Legault declared, during a conversation on the Joyce Echaquan affair and systemic racism, that “the problem was solved in Joliette.”

< p>“No, Mr. Legault, the problem is not solved in Joliette”, retorted Carol Dubé, the spouse of Mrs. Echaquan, in reaction to the declaration of the chief caquiste.

The family of the late young woman, who died in disturbing circumstances on September 28, 2020 at the Joliette hospital, said they were “stunned” by François Legault's comments, we learn in a press release written by the lawyer for the family, Mr. Patrick Martin-Ménard.

A “chance” meeting with François Legault

During his intervention on the Joliette hospital, François Legault declared having met and discussed with the family of Joyce Echaquan.

The family says they wanted a meeting with the Prime Minister for almost two years after the tragic events, in order to share their experiences and “have a real discussion on the issues of systemic racism and the safety of care in our health care system”, points out Mr. Patrick Martin-Ménard.

A meeting would indeed have taken place, but only on July 26, during the visit of Pope Francis to the Sanctuary of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré and in a completely “fortuitous” way, explains the lawyer.

“During this very brief exchange, Mr. Legault asked Mr. Dubé if, in his opinion, the appointment of an Aboriginal person to a management position at the CISSS de Lanaudière had led to improvements, which to which Mr. Dubé agreed”, details Mr. Patrick Martin-Ménard.

There would have been no other exchanges.

“Legault washes his hands of it by magical thought”

For those close to Joyce Echaquan, despite the outgoing Prime Minister's optimistic comments, the problem is not resolved. “Mr. Dubé never told the Prime Minister that the situation was resolved,” noted the family advocate.

The latter finds it “deplorable that the Prime Minister allows himself to place words in the mouth of Mr. Dubé for purely electoral purposes”.

The family regrets that François Legault did not meet them officially, in the first two years following the tragedy.

According to Patrick Martin-Ménard, François Legault also did not take the time to read Coroner Gehane Kamel's report, filed in September 2021.

“He would have realized that the systemic problems having led to the death of Mrs. Echaquan are not likely to be settled by essentially aesthetic changes”, asserts the family lawyer.

For the latter, the way in which François Legault approaches the problem is “to wash your hands of it by magical thinking” and “reflects an old mentality that reproduces the dynamics at the root of the problems that led to the death of Madame Echaquan in the first place”.

To To date, unlike the College of Physicians and the Order of Nurses of Quebec (OIIQ), the government of the CAQ leader has not recognized the existence of systemic racism within Quebec institutions. Last Thursday evening, during the leaders' debate, François Legault maintained that there was no “racist system”.

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