Regional debate of Radio-Canada Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean: Andrée Laforest targeted | Elections Quebec 2022

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Radio-Canada Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean regional debate: Andrée Laforest targeted | Élections Quebec 2022

The debate was presented inside the Téléjournal Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean on Wednesday.

The outgoing regional minister, Andrée Laforest, was the target of her adversaries on several occasions during the regional debate on Radio-Canada, where she had to defend her record and the promises of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) in Saguenay-Lac- Saint-Jean.

The candidate who is seeking a second term in Chicoutimi crossed swords on Wednesday during the Téléjournal Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jeanwith Caroline Dubé, Parti Québécois (PQ) candidate in Jonquière, Adrien Guibert-Barthez, Québec solidaire (QS) candidate in Chicoutimi, as well as with Tommy Pageau, Conservative Party of Québec (PCQ) candidate in Dubuc, during the debate moderated by Jean-François Coulombe.

The Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) was to be represented by Tricia Murray, candidate in Lac-Saint-Jean. However, she had to cancel her participation due to COVID-19. The PLQ could not delegate another candidate in the region to replace her. Each party was free to delegate the regional candidate of its choice.

The candidates had 30 seconds each during the debate to make their positions known, followed for several issues by a two-minute exchange. About ten different regional themes were discussed during the exercise which lasted almost an hour, including health, education, immigration and inflation, where the candidates also put forward the national positions of their party.

The GNL Québec file resurfaced from the first minutes of the debate, when the theme of the environment was discussed. Tommy Pageau argued that the LNG Quebec project would reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) on a global scale.

“We could shut down seven coal-fired power plants in Germany. Do you want GHG reductions?

—Tommy Pageau, Conservative Party candidate in Dubuc

Adrien Guibert-Barthez, who campaigned against the GNL Québec project within the Fjord Coalition, has repeatedly criticized the CAQ's previous support for the project as well as the support of the PCQ.

< p class="e-p"> For his part, he believes that the solution to reducing GHGs requires an ambitious plan based in particular on measures affecting transport. He wants to increase the budget of the Société de transport du Saguenay by 50%.

The debate was moderated by news anchor Jean-François Coulombe.

The candidates were also asked to comment on the certificates available to Rio Tinto to pollute more than the permitted limit.

For the Parti Québécois Caroline Dubé, a balance of power is necessary in the face of the multinational.

You have to be clear with Rio Tinto Alcan, you don't necessarily have to eat out of their hands. It takes a balance of power. For that, it takes solid consultation, not just with elected officials, with civil society and the unions, she said.

I find that it You really have to be careful with Rio Tinto, mentioned Andrée Laforest, who had stressed earlier the importance of low-carbon aluminum production in the region.

“Because Rio Tinto has standards to meet and has 100 criteria to meet under the Environmental Quality Act . She respects them. Now, it should be mentioned that Rio Tinto is the most responsible in terms of aluminum in the world. »

— André Laforest, candidate for the Coalition avenir Québec in Chicoutimi

then added the outgoing MP, who had earlier highlighted the importance of low-carbon aluminum production in the region.

Adrien Guibert-Barthez believes in his side that the demands on Rio Tinto must be tightened. It absolutely must be done, given public health, it is a question of people's health, if we do not want to end up with a case like the Horne Foundry in Abitibi, he argued.

Curator Tommy Pageau believes for his part that it is necessary to work together with the company, which is the heart and the lungs of the region. We must not put brakes or restrictions on them, we must encourage them, he pleaded.

The woodland caribou file also sparked several exchanges between the candidates, while the Independent Commission on Woodland and Mountain Caribou tabled its report at the end of August.

Yes, it takes a balance between the woodland caribou and the workers, said caquist Andrée Laforest, pointing out that her government authorized the protected area project near the Péribonka River.

We have to work with the MRCs, that's what we're doing right now, we're going to continue, but we have to protect our jobs, here, in the regions. We are the first region in terms of the forestry industry, she insisted.

Solidarity Adrien Guibert-Barthez rather replied that he considers that the inaction of the CAQ is responsible for the ongoing debate.

“Currently, if we are heading towards a forestry crisis between caribou protection versus forest industry protection, it is because the CAQ has done nothing, in creating protected areas, in consultation, in protecting jobs, he argued. »

— Adrien Guibert-Barthez, Québec solidaire candidate in Chicoutimi

Caroline Dubé, for her part, argues in favor of a balance, but believes that more protected areas must be created. Now we also have to take care of protected areas, there are not many, there are not enough, she said.

Curator Tommy Pageau also talked about balance. The woodland caribou is doing relatively well, it will not lose a job in the Saguenay for a caribou, he however launched.

A dozen different themes were discussed during the regional debate broadcast on the Téléjournal Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

The exchanges began to be more vigorous when the issue of economic diversification was addressed and the development of the Port of Saguenay invited himself into the debate.

Tommy Pageau criticized the CAQ, which had four out of five deputies in the region, for having waited for a first term before taking an interest in the development of the port of Grande-Anse. It has been there for four years, your government, and it hasn't made any progress, he reproached.

Andrée Laforest replied that a first investment, jointly with Ottawa, had been announced for an electric conveyor project, while recalling that the CAQ had undertaken to invest $117 million for the development of the deep-water port if it were brought back to power.

PQ member Caroline Dubé believes that the Port of Saguenay is more of a consolation prize for the CAQ against the Port of Bécancour.

We agree, the port of Bécancour is very competitive, it belongs to the Government of Quebec. He is full. Now we are interested in the Port of Saguenay, she lamented.

So, what are your plans?, replied Andrée Laforest, to which Caroline Dubé replied by talking about cellulosic fiber and betting on Rio Tinto's Elysis technology. We did it, continue!, replied Andrée Laforest again.

The outgoing regional minister, who also had the portfolio of Municipal Affairs and Housing, had to answer to the group fire of his opponents on the management of the housing crisis of the CAQ.

Madame Laforest was the minister who denied the housing crisis for four years, launched the solidarity Adrien Guibert-Barthez, who also insisted on access to property which has become increasingly difficult for young people who wish to become owners. .

We keep our promises. We promised to finance 15,000 [housing], we financed 15,000. To build, we built 9418, she replied.

On the issue of health, Caroline Dubé questioned the impact on the ground of the appointment of local directors within the health network by the CAQ, also raising the major current issues of the network in physical health and mental.

“Local directors, this is super interesting. But when you live in Lamarche, and you have to go for dialysis three, four times a week, in Chicoutimi, that there is a local director, compared to that, it's not great. »

— Caroline Dubé, Parti Québécois candidate in Jonquière

Solidarity Adrien Guibert-Barthez, for his part, pointed out that Québec solidaire intended to bring 800 psychologists back into the public sector, while the curator Tommy Pageau notably insisted on the importance of strengthening home help for seniors.

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