Quebec's Liberal government has booted two Parti Quebecois-appointed, high-level bureaucrats from provincially run corporations. Transport Minister Robert Poeti said Wednesday "the status quo was no longer possible," regarding his decision to let go Nicolas Girard, head of the corporation that runs Montreal's commuter rail service. Girard, who was a PQ member of the legislature for eight years, was forced out one year before the end of his mandate after being appointed in 2012 by then-PQ premier Pauline Marois. He will be replaced by Paul Cote, a former president and CEO of Via Rail. Poeti said he and Girard differed on "the new public transportation policy," which the government is set to announce in the fall. The PQ suggested earlier this week his firing was due to political score-settling. The Quebec government also announced Wednesday the replacement of Sylvain Simard, who ran the province's liquor board and who was forced out two-and-a-half years before the end of his mandate. Simard is a former PQ cabinet minister and was appointed head of the Quebec Liquor Corp. by Marois in 2013. The government said Simard will be replaced by Johanne Brunet, a university professor who was once on the board of the CBC's French-language network.
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