Despite political tensions, the CEO of Hydro-Québec will remain in office

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Despite the political tensions, the CEO of Hydro-Québec will remain in office

“I obviously thought more generally about governance as well as a result of things and I will continue with you, ”wrote Sophie Brochu to her employees in an internal letter distributed the same day as the appointment of the new Council of Ministers.

The Government of Quebec has appointed Sophie Brochu as President and CEO of Hydro- Quebec in 2020.

The day of the swearing-in of new ministers, Thursday, the day Prime Minister François Legault unveiled the course of his government, Sophie Brochu, the CEO of Hydro- Quebec, confirmed to its employees its intention to remain in office while acknowledging that it had questions about “governance”.

It was the Prime Minister's outstretched hand that would have convinced her to continue her duties, can we read in an internal email entitled I continue by your side sent Thursday to the staff of Hydro-Quebec and from which Radio-Canada obtained a copy.

Tense relations between the highest-paid senior executive in the provincial public service and the Quebec government leaked to the media after the re-election of François Legault, both in the press than on social networks.

Hydro-Québec's communication department, known for its widely shared humorous sallies, posted a message on Twitter addressing the new Minister of the Economy, Energy and #x27;Innovation in these terms: Resistance and voltage are normal in our business, but at the end of the day, the important thing is that the current flows.

The disagreements between Ms. Brochu and Minister Fitzgibbon relate to the approval of major industrial projects contrary to Quebec's environmental objectives.

I have no problem with Ms. Brochu, a assured the reappointed Minister of the Economy about his relations with the CEO of Hydro-Québec, who was appointed by the Legault government in April 2020.

Their last discussions go back to May 2022, said Pierre Fitzgibbon at the end of the ceremony where he was sworn in for a second term.

In her letter to employees, the CEO also confirmed having met with François Legault and the Minister of Economy and Innovation, omitting (voluntarily?) to also introduce him to the head of the company. Energy, a new portfolio considerably expanding Mr. Fitzgibbon's powers.

Would the political standoff continue to reconcile the fight against climate change and economic development in Quebec?< /p>

We will continue to support the collective momentum for the planet's energy transition, which remains a necessity, Ms. Brochu said at the time of her appointment in 2020, when the then Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonatan Julien rather praised his managerial and leadership qualities.

Ms. Brochu's letter released to Hydro-Québec employees on Thursday is in line with the mandate given to her upon her appointment – ​​to work for a prosperous and green economy – to which she adds an underlined social dimension in her last speeches.

In her internal communication bulletin InfoSophie, Ms. Brochu writes that the government and Hydro-Québec share the objective of using our clean electricity to decarbonize our economy and to do so by creating value for current and future generations.

“That value must be economic, social and environmental at the same time. This is the very basis of sustainable development. »

— Excerpt from the letter from Sophie Brochu distributed to all Hydro-Québec staff

The Legault government, second term, immediately seized on the energy issue to make it an example of political consensus, whereas post-electoral periods are traditionally oriented towards the unification of the troops.

In the middle of a welcome speech to the new Council of Ministers on Thursday, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of a new Committee on Energy Transition and the Economy, which he will chair. He himself has assured that he will devote himself fully to it in the coming weeks, alongside the Ministers of the Economy, Finance, the Environment, and Relations with Indigenous Peoples.

Ms. Brochu welcomed the positive initiative of François Legault for better collaboration between ministries.

As we reflect on our energy future, we need more than ever to count, plan and establish priorities taking into account all the challenges facing us, Hydro-Québec said in a press release on Thursday.

With information from Daniel Leblanc

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