Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, believes that his government does not need to force companies in the battery sector to source from Quebec suppliers, since this “happens naturally”.
The Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, maintains that it would have been superfluous for his government to force companies in the battery sector to source from Quebec suppliers, because this “happens naturally”.
“You can’t have better integration. All the components that will make the cells, the cathodes, all come from Quebec,” assured the minister at a press briefing Wednesday morning at the National Assembly.
Radio-Canada reported Wednesday that the The Quebec government had thought about requiring a minimum of Quebec content from companies in the battery sector — Northvolt, GM and Ford — before finally changing its mind. Still according to the public broadcaster, the government backed down for fear of losing projects or being targeted by lawsuits.
Questioned by journalists in the press scrum, Minister Fitzgibbon was visibly not shaken by what Radio-Canada reported. “You have to understand how industrial projects work before saying anything. […] It is better to water a plant, so that it grows, than to pull on it,” illustrated Mr. Fitzgibbon.
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“Homeopathic nationalism,” says the PQ
The Parti Québécois (PQ) says it is “shameful” that the government has not required battery companies to source from Quebec. “It’s really a manifestation of the homeopathic nationalism of the [Coalition Avenir Québec]. He doesn't ask for too much. Then, if you don’t ask for one, you won’t get one,” said PQ leader Pascal Bérubé.
“Mr Fitzgibbon needs to look in the mirror. This minister has all the powers. […] And it is not even capable of requiring Quebec content. Well, he's a bad negotiator,” said liberal Monsef Derraji.
“Concretely, what we have on the table is a company that comes, to which we give billions , who decides on our standards, who can decide to buy any component outside of Quebec to make these batteries and sell them elsewhere, and, for her part, keep all the money. supported solidarity leader Haroun Bouazzi.
Québec solidaire tabled a motion on the subject on Wednesday, which was blocked by the government. The wording was as follows: “That the National Assembly asks the Government of Quebec to make the forgivable loan of $436 million to the Northvolt company conditional on sourcing from Quebec suppliers for its production in Quebec, particularly in the minerals sector. »