François Legault does not rule out a referendum on the future of the Horne Foundry | Elections Quebec 2022

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François Legault does not rule out a referendum on the future of the Horne Foundry | Élections Quebec 2022

The CAQ leader is accused of misleading Quebecers when he claims that public health would be satisfied with an arsenic emission threshold of 15 ng/m3.

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François Legault answered questions from journalists in front of Rouyn City Hall- Noranda with CAQ candidate Daniel Bernard.

François Legault relies on the citizens of Rouyn-Noranda to determine the fate of the Horne Foundry. Pressed to explain how he intends to settle this file, the outgoing Prime Minister did not rule out holding a referendum on whether to maintain or close the plant.


As public consultations on the future of the smelter began earlier this month, François Legault called on Rouyn-Noranda residents to consider two scenarios: Do we close the plant or is we accept the company's improved final proposal?

However, this proposal is still awaited, negotiations with Glencore having to continue to decide, in particular, on the question of a “buffer zone” and compensation to be paid to people who may be forced to leave the immediate vicinity of the plant, according to Mr. Legault.

We all want to make sure that we have gone as far as possible with the company to reduce emissions as low and as quickly as possible, said Mr. Legault in a press briefing Thursday, after meeting the mayor, Diane Dallaire.

At the end of this process, it will be up to the citizens to decide, he summarized. Asked about the holding of a possible referendum on the issue, the CAQ leader said he was not ruling anything out at this point.

“If the majority of the population wants to close the factory, we will close the factory. It couldn't be clearer. »

— François Legault, leader of the Coalition avenir Québec

For the time being, the Horne Foundry has agreed to comply with the emissions threshold for #x27;Arsenic recommended by public health, or 15 ng/m3 within five years. A limit that exceeds the Quebec standard of 3 ng/m3.

Reducing quickly to 3 nanograms, however, would be technically impossible; the imposition of such a standard would lead to the closure of the facilities, according to Mr. Legault, who thus takes up Glencore's argument. Closure of the factory means loss of jobs for its 650 workers, continued the head of the CAQ.

Would the outgoing Prime Minister agree to raise his children in an environment where the emission threshold is 15 ng/m3? When public health says it's an acceptable level at 15 ng, personally, I'm happy with that, he replied. The limit recommended by public health “is not ideal,” he said, but it poses minimal health risks.

However, public health judges the threshold 15 ng/3 acceptable… until the Quebec standard is reached. This benchmark, specified the INSPQ last August, is a first step towards the objective of 3 ng/m3.

Mr. Legault has no idea of ​​the horizon after which the company could comply. I'm not a seer of the future, he offered.

The CAQ leader had a difficult start to the day in Rouyn-Noranda, which he had not visited since the start of the election campaign. Before his press briefing, the head of the CAQ lost patience at the microphone of the show Des matins en or after the host David Chabot had contradicted him on this subject.

Mr. Legault insisted that it was not up to his Quebec solidaire rival, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, to close the foundry. However, the latter never brandished this threat: the co-spokesperson instead committed to subjecting the company to the national standard within four years, with an intermediate target to be achieved within a year.

Annoyed by this precision, the CAQ leader replied that Mr. Nadeau-Dubois had to assume himself.

< p class="e-p">The decision is not up to Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois of Montreal, nor to Mr. Chabot, nor to a few doctors in a pressure group, he launched, thus attacking the host.

On Wednesday, Mr. Legault downplayed the associated health risks by urging people to read the public health findings. It's not as dramatic as some say, he said, referring to the letter published by a group of doctors who accuse him of misleading the population.

Refuting Mr. Legault's accusations that he was closing the plant, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois argued that his plan to reduce the threshold had been favorably received in the region. The residents of Rouyn-Noranda are not asking for the closure of the plant, but rather that their health be respected, he summarized.

The co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire accused the leader of the Coalition avenir Québec of pouring into disinformation by not telling the truth to the people of Rouyn-Noranda about the Horne Foundry and the risks associated with their health. According to Mr. Nadeau-Dubois, the head of the CAQ closes his eyes and strives to ignore science.

“[François Legault] should be embarrassed to walk the streets of Rouyn after the mandate of inaction which was his in the file of air quality.

— Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire

Of the same opinion, the leader of the Parti Québécois Paul St-Pierre Plamondon criticized the caquist for wrongly implying that public health would be satisfied with a threshold of 15 ng/m3. What François Legault said about public health is false. Public health wants 3 ng/m3, he corrected.

Liberal leader Dominique Anglade meanwhile refrained from saying whether she would order the closure of the Glencore plant, preferring to present herself as a government of collaboration.

In short, the complete opposite of his CAQ opponent, according to Ms. Anglade. The reaction of the outgoing Prime Minister on the airwaves of ICI Abitibi-Témiscamingue says a lot, according to her, about his way of being. When you disagree with him, this is how he reacts.

The Conservative leader, Éric Duhaime, shares the opinion of his Liberal rival. We have a prime minister who doesn't seem to take criticism very much and who seems to have problems when people don't agree with him. This man has been managing by decree for too long, he said in a press scrum in Portneuf at the end of the day.

I feel like he's been in the habit of governing alone for too long, he no longer tolerates dissent, separate opinions, strong opinions, added Mr. Duhaime, citing the need for dissent. elect a strong opposition on October 3 to have people who will question it a little more tightly in the National Assembly.

With the collaboration of Jérôme Labbé and Joëlle Girard

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