No more applauding during question period at Quebec national assembly

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QUEBEC — The Quebec legislature was a lot quieter when it resumed sitting today after its summer break. 

That’s because members of the national assembly voted unanimously in favour of a motion to stop applauding during the daily question period.

The motion, which was presented by the Parti Quebecois, was approved by a vote of 116-0 and went into effect immediately.

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The legislature was eerily silent after PQ Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau’s first question to Premier Philippe Couillard about cuts in education.

Government house leader Jean-Marc Fournier spoke earlier in favour of the no-applause motion, saying everyone, including himself, would have to make an effort to discipline themselves.

Speaker Jacques Chagnon says eliminating applause from all sides will result in more questions.

The session will play out against the backdrop of what could well be protracted contract negotiations between the government and public-sector unions.

The Liberals have 70 members in the 125-seat national assembly, compared with 29 for the PQ and 20 for the Coalition for Quebec’s Future.

Quebec solidaire has three seats, there is one Independent and two ridings are vacant.

Quebecers are expected to next go to the polls in the fall of 2018.

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