QUEBEC – Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard couldn’t hide his frustration on Thursday about the seemingly unfavourable media coverage surrounding his cabinet shuffle.
Couillard wasn’t having it as he was asked by reporters about why only one member of his previous cabinet was left off the new team announced Wednesday.
Rita de Santis was dropped from cabinet as Couillard added six new faces while tinkering with the responsibilities of nine other ministers.
He defended the choice, pushing the combination of youth and experience in the face of numerous worldwide challenges.
But the majority of the senior cabinet ministers — education, justice, health, and finance among them — all kept their posts.
Couillard lashed out at reporters asking him about the makeup of his cabinet, suggesting the media were out for blood.
“What is it you want, you folks in the media?,” he said. “You’re looking for a pound of flesh? A little blood on the table? Is that what you’re interested in? You want human drama. Is that what excites you a bit? You want (to write) nice articles on that?”
“I prefer to talk about people’s competency… If it’s a demotion contest, I’m not playing this game. I’m playing at construction.”
The opposition has claimed that Couillard’s Liberals are worn out a year away from the provincial election next October.
The Parti Quebecois has said nothing changed with the shuffle, given that 92 per cent of the government’s budget remains in the hands of the same ministers.