François Legault’s adviser, Carl Renaud, was appointed deputy minister for life.

François Legault’s adviser, Carl Renaud, was appointed deputy minister for life.

A collaborator of François Legault since 2016, former journalist Carl Renaud was recently appointed a level 2 state administrator, which guarantees him a career in the senior civil service.

The former Director of Government Policy in the Prime Minister’s Office will be assistant deputy minister in the Ministry of Families from July 29.

The announcement was made in mid-June, but Wednesday’s decree reveals that Carl Renaud will not be employed on contract like many other deputy ministers appointed by the CAQ.

Instead, he becomes State Administrator II, with a guaranteed job guarantee, regardless of the color of the next government.

The position comes with a salary of $190,191 this year.

In the office of François Legault, we secure the appointment of this close collaborator, who was responsible for creating the Transition Committee at the beginning of the second term.

“For any appointment, the No. 1 criterion is competence,” writes Ivan Chaves, the prime minister’s spokesman.

The latter argues that Carl Renaud worked for many years on family-related issues, particularly the development of CPEs, as part of his activities as director of government policies.

“He is a brilliant person who will be an asset to the public service,” says François Legault’s spokesman.

Partisan appointments

But the opposition sees this as another appointment of a CAQ collaborator within the government apparatus.

Stéphane Le Bouyonnec, former president of the CAQ and former MP, was appointed deputy minister of cyber security and digital affairs last fall. However, this is a five-year contract, not a lifetime appointment.

With today’s announcement, PQ MP Pascal Bérubé listed some fifteen CAQ appointments since the first mandate.

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“It’s starting to do a lot,” says Pascal Berube.

However, some of the appointments concern the posts of representatives from Quebec, where proximity to power is more common.

“Little Friends”

Opponents of the CAQ did not fail to recall the words of François Legault in June 2018, shortly before he came to power.

“CAQ government, with partisan appointments and allies, it will be over. Appointments will be made on merit,” the CAQ chief wrote on Twitter.

More recently, in 2020, Simon Jolin-Barrett, Parliamentary Chair of the CAQ, welcomed contract appointments. “All the people appointed to deputy minister positions are on an ad hoc basis so that we can make sure that they are accountable to the people of Quebec, that they are competent and, above all, that they are accountable to the administration,” he said.

For the liberal Monchef Terraji, the observation is clear: “Francois Legault, despite his declarations and promises, is still struggling with his own contradictions.”

“Furthermore, we note that members of his direct political entourage no longer see their future within the CAQ. Instead, they are turning to work in the public service, indicating a lack of confidence in the stability of their current party,” he says.

Pascal Perupe, for his part, recalled that the CAQ had promised to table a bill in 2018 to make appointments more transparent. That idea was eventually abandoned.

Near CAQ appointed to important posts

  • Catherine Loupierre, Quebec Representative to New York (former Deputy Prime Minister)
  • Guy Leblanc, CEO of Investissement Québec (personal friend of Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon)
  • Denis Tolbeck, Regie des Alcoles, des Cours et des Jeux (former Chief of Staff to Minister Eric Girard)
  • Marie-Eve Bedard, Assistant Deputy Minister (former Chief of Staff to Minister Christian Dubé)
  • Alain Sanz Cartier, Deputy Minister (former Cabinet Director at ADQ)
  • Nathalie Verge, Deputy Minister (former Communications Director at CAQ)
  • Audrey Murray, Deputy Minister (CAQ candidate in 2022)
  • Emmanuelle Géhin, CEO of Recyc-Québec (former political advisor to Minister Benoît Charette)
  • Caroline Saint-Hilaire, Executive of the International Organization of Francophonie (CAQ candidate in 2022)
  • Charles-Olivier Gosselin, Judge at the Court of Quebec (friend of Minister Simon Jolin-Barret)
  • Isabelle Mignault, Deputy Minister (former Chief of Staff to Minister Nadine Girault)
  • Benjamin Belaire, Quebec Representative to Washington (former Director of Canadian and International Relations in the Office of the Prime Minister)
  • Stéphane Le Bouyonnec, Deputy Minister (former MP and President of the CAQ)
  • Carl Renaud, Assistant Deputy Minister (formerly Director of Government Policy)

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