Daniel Bernard was a registered lobbyist for the mining companies until after the election | Arsenic Rouyn-Noranda

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Daniel Bernard was a registered mining lobbyist until after the election | Arsenic Rouyn-Noranda

The lobby that has the multinational Glencore as a member had a recent mandate targeting Quebec Premier François Legault.

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CAQ leader François Legault with candidate Daniel Bernard in Rouyn-Noranda on September 29.

The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) candidate elected in Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue, Daniel Bernard, was registered as a lobbyist for the Quebec Mining Association throughout the election campaign, for up to nine days. after the election. The new MP claims that he had not been active since 2018, but that the lobby had forgotten to withdraw his registration.

The registry of lobbyists in Quebec indicates that Daniel Bernard's name was removed from the list of representatives of the Quebec Mining Association (AMQ) on October 12. This lobby represents mining companies including Glencore, owner of the Horne Foundry.

Among the lobbying mandates still active, the AMQ is trying to convince the Quebec government, in particular the Ministry of the Environment, to simplify the project authorization process and reduce the environmental standards to be respected. .

Daniel Bernard beat Québec solidaire MNA Émilise Lessard-Therrien by a comfortable lead, while the Horne Foundry pollution file was at the heart of the election campaign in the constituency.

Daniel Bernard was until recently a municipal councilor for Rouyn-Noranda.

Daniel Bernard has obtained 45% of the vote on October 3, against 31% for his rival of Quebec solidaire Émilise Lessard-Therrien.

Since May 2022, the QMA has had a lobbying mandate that specifically targets the Premier of Quebec, in order to raise awareness of these issues “in a pre-election context”.

The September 29, when candidate Daniel Bernard met François Legault in Rouyn-Noranda, he was still officially registered as a lobbyist for an organization that wants to convince the Prime Minister to change the rules to favor mining companies.

Contacted by Radio-Canada, Daniel Bernard declared: “I have nothing to reproach myself for”. He explains that all of this is “an error by the AMQ, which forgot to withdraw [his] name on a mandate from 4-5 years ago”.

The Quebec Mining Association has the same version of the facts: “We forgot to remove the names of the people associated with this mandate […] ended in 2018”.

It should be noted that since 2018, the AMQ has updated its list of lobbyists four times by removing names, but without ever removing that of Daniel Bernard. These changes were made in April 2021, January 2020, October 2019 and April 2019.

“The person who takes care of our updates changed in April and we hadn't noticed that our list hadn't been revised following the end of the 2018 term. to correct. »

— Martin Bureau, Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs of the Quebec Mining Association

According to the AMQ, the mandate for which Daniel Bernard had lobbied in 2018 concerned a request for mining companies to be exempted from a new regulation to require financial compensation when destroying wetlands or bodies of water.

Daniel Bernard surrounded by the candidate of the CAQ in Abitibi-Ouest, Suzanne Blais, and the CAQ candidate in Abitibi-Est, Pierre Dufour, also Minister of Wildlife, Forests and Parks.

On September 26, the CAQ candidate also met with the Minister of Wildlife, Forests and Parks, Pierre Dufour.

The Quebec Mining Association has a lobbying mandate that specifically targets this ministry to ask the government to streamline the project authorization procedure and reduce delays.

At the office of François Legault, we line up behind the version of the Quebec Mining Association.

“This was an unpaid representation mandate for the AMQ, which ended more than four years ago “, writes in an email the press secretary of the Prime Minister, Ewan Sauves.

“There was no mention of this mandate during the Prime Minister's visit to Rouyn-Noranda during the campaign. »

— Ewan Sauves, press officer for François Legault

Former Liberal provincial deputy, Daniel Bernard had become a lobbyist for the Mining Exploration Association of Quebec four months after leaving politics, in 2012, which had been the subject of criticism. This mandate as a lobbyist ended in 2014.

Mining engineer, Daniel Bernard has worked for several companies in recent years, including the mining company Hecla Quebec. He became a CAQ candidate in Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue late this summer, after the withdrawal of a previous candidate.

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