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A privatization of Hydro would harm the independence of Quebec, believes Blanchet

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “Hydro-Québec is not a ‘business’,” chanted Yves-François Blanchet during a speech on the sidelines of a party to mark his five years at the head of the Bloc on Tuesday evening, arguing that the sovereignist option depended on it.

The leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, said he was “a little” reassured by the words of François Legault according to which “there is no question” of privatizing the state-owned company Hydro-Québec.

“I have the impression that there have been enough reactions for Prime Minister Legault to say “we are going to take it slowly in this reflection”, which simply seems wise to me,” said the leader of the Bloc Québécois, Thursday morning, after a meeting of its caucus gathered in Chicoutimi.

He specifies that it is up to the Quebec government to decide on the place that the private sector should take in electricity production, but that it will make sure to “tell Ottawa “Stay away from this debate- there.”

Yves-François Blanchet launched a small criticism towards the presumed intentions of the Quebec government, during his nearly half-hour speech on the sidelines of a party to mark his five years at the head of the Bloc, Tuesday evening.

“Hydro-Québec is not a business,” he chanted, arguing that the sovereignist option depended on it.

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“Without this legacy of René Lévesque, the Quebec that we want to become a country could perhaps not be one. If we want to embark on this reflection [privatization], I invite us to do so with wisdom and intelligence. »

Out of the question, says Quebec

The next day, the Premier of Quebec addressed this very subject during his speech to his troops gathered in Sherbrooke. “By the way, there is no question of privatizing, of denying the legacy of René Lévesque, let’s be clear. »

The specter of a partial privatization of Hydro-Québec worries the state company's union members, to the point where they launched an advertising campaign on this subject, at a time when the Coalition government Avenir Québec must table a bill on regulating clean energy.

Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon reacted by denouncing “campaigns of fear and disinformation”, but added that private production was legal in certain contexts, and “will remain so”. Radio-Canada reported in January that the planned reform should notably allow the sale of electricity from one private company to another.

Pre-campaign launched

The 32 deputies of the Bloc Québécois were gathered in downtown Chicoutimi, in Saguenay, in the heart of the riding of conservative Richard Martel, one of the few gains they hope to obtain in the outcome of the next elections.

The Bloc unveiled its slogan for the first parliamentary session of 2024: “Trustworthy”. The chief first mentioned immigration as an important theme for the start of the school year on Monday.

The next federal election campaign must be held no later than fall 2025.

Yves-François Blanchet spoke to his troops that he would like to never have to celebrate his ten years as leader, meaning that he hopes that a winning referendum on the independence of Quebec will this role will expire by then.

Questioned by Le Devoir about his future plans, he allowed himself to dream of a role in a hypothetical campaign of Yes in the next five years, in the event of a takeover of power in Quebec by the sovereignist family.

“If someone tells me: “Come to the stage, we’re having a referendum campaign”, we’re going to have some fun cursed. I can see myself [occupying this role]. » His caucus enthusiastically applauded the response.

With Marco Bélair-Cirino

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116