Quebec should accelerate the electrification of transport and end the sale of gasoline vehicles by 2030 instead of 2035, estimates Québec solidaire (QS).
This is what its parliamentary leader, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, proposed during a rare tête-à-tête with Prime Minister François Legault on Monday in Montreal.
Last week, Mr. Legault said he wanted to focus in the coming months on the electrification of Quebec, its businesses and its transport.
He took the opportunity to announce a series of meetings with the leaders of the opposition parties, taking the trouble to include the Conservative leader, Éric Duhaime, who did not elect any deputy to the National Assembly.
“We have to convince our companies, we have to convince citizens to electrify,” declared the Prime Minister. It’s a nice challenge. It is a challenge that I wish to take up with the oppositions. »
Mr. Nadeau-Dubois reports having proposed to the Prime Minister to pass a law to accelerate the electrification of freight transportation.
He also wants Quebec to accelerate the electrification of buildings heated with fossil fuels through an “ambitious” incentive program.
And that companies that receive government assistance be required to gradually adopt clean Quebec technologies (“ecoconditionality measures”).
Finally, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois invited Mr. Legault to urgently reinvest in public transit companies to avoid any reduction in service.
The meeting, which lasted more than an hour and a half, went well; the tone was “cordial,” Mr. Nadeau-Dubois later confided in an interview.
“The Prime Minister, I felt he was listening, but what’s even better than listening are results,” he said. Now, I expect Francois Legault to deliver the goods.
“He knows very well that his plan to fight climate change does not make it possible to reach Quebec’s targets. It is now up to him to review this plan, ”he added.
In addition to issues related to energy and the environment, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois said he discussed with Mr. Legault the housing crisis, the cost of living, the minimum wage and health employment agencies, in particular .
“I will judge the usefulness of the meeting when I see the results,” he concluded.
The PLQ proposes a traveling commission
For his part, the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ), Marc Tanguay, who will meet with Mr. Legault on Thursday, proposes to launch a national consultation on the future of energy in Quebec.
This traveling commission would focus on the current and future needs of Quebec, as well as the investments necessary to achieve the energy transition and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
She would consult with the public and experts, and be asked to report by the end of 2023, according to the Liberal proposal detailed in a statement Monday.
Mr. Tanguay and his energy spokesperson, Gregory Kelley, hope that the members of the commission will visit all regions of Quebec and that the Aboriginal nations will be involved in the process.
The commission should be co-chaired by two MPs, one from the government and the other from the party that forms the official opposition, according to them.
To meet Québec’s energy needs, the government considers that approximately 100 terawatt-hours (TWh) will have to be added to the approximately 210 TWh already produced annually.
The Liberals believe that the population must be consulted on the principles that will guide the decisions of the government and of Hydro-Québec.
They point out that energy needs are likely to increase further, especially if Quebec wants to help its neighbors reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
Under the circumstances, the government should not “decide everything behind closed doors,” Tanguay said in a statement.