François Legault and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois discuss the energy transition

François Legault and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois discuss the energy transition

Québec solidaire (QS) estimates that Quebec should accelerate the electrification of transport and end sales of gasoline vehicles by 2030 instead of 2035.

Updated January 16th

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Caroline Plante and Jean-Philippe Denoncourt The Canadian Press

This was suggested by Parliament Speaker Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois during a rare neck-and-neck race with Prime Minister François Legault in Montreal on Monday.

Last week, Mr Legault said he wanted to focus on Quebec’s electrification, its businesses and its transport in the coming months.

He took the opportunity to announce a series of meetings with opposition party leaders, taking the trouble to include Conservative leader Éric Duhaime, who had not elected an MP to the National Assembly.

“We have to convince our companies, we have to convince the citizens to electrify,” said the Prime Minister. It’s a nice challenge. This is a challenge that I would like to face up to with the oppositions. »

Mr Nadeau-Dubois reports that he has proposed to the Prime Minister to pass a law to speed up the electrification of freight transport.

He also wants Quebec to accelerate the electrification of buildings heated with fossil fuels through an “ambitious” stimulus program.

And that companies receiving government support will be encouraged to gradually adopt clean Quebec technology (“eco-conditionality measures”).

Finally, Mr Nadeau-Dubois urged Mr Legault to urgently reinvest in public transport companies to avoid a reduction in service.

The meeting, which lasted more than an hour and a half, went well; the tone was “cordial”, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois later confided in an interview.

“The PM, I felt like he was listening, but what’s even better than listening is results,” he said. Now I expect Francois Legault to deliver the goods.

“He knows very well that his plan to combat climate change does not make it possible to achieve the Quebec goals. It is now up to him to review that plan,” he added.

In addition to issues related to energy and the environment, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois said that he had discussed with Mr. Legault in particular the housing crisis, the cost of living, the minimum wage and healthcare employment services.

“I will judge the usefulness of the meeting when I see the results,” he concluded.

The PLQ proposes a travel commission

For his part, the interim leader of the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ), Marc Tanguay, who will meet Mr Legault on Thursday, proposes launching a national consultation on the future of energy in Quebec.

This travel commission would focus on Quebec’s current and future needs and the investments needed to achieve the energy transition and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

She would consult with the public and experts and be asked to report by the end of 2023, according to a Liberal statement on Monday.

Mr. Tanguay and his energy spokesman, Gregory Kelley, hope that commission members will visit all regions of Quebec and that Indigenous nations will be involved in the process.

The commission should be chaired jointly by two MPs, one from the government and the other from the party that forms the official opposition.

According to the government, in order to meet Québec’s energy needs, around 100 terawatt hours (TWh) must be added to the around 210 TWh already produced annually.

Liberals believe the public must be consulted on the principles that will guide government and Hydro-Québec decisions.

They point out that energy demand is expected to continue to grow, especially as Quebec looks to help its neighbors reduce their dependency on fossil fuels.

Under the circumstances, the government should not “decide everything behind closed doors,” Tanguay said in a statement.