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Sale of Rona | Opposition parties disappointed

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The opposition parties are disappointed by the sale at a discount of Rona by the American hardware store Lowe’s to a New York investment firm and by the inaction of the Legault government.

“Was the Government of Quebec aware that Lowe’s was in the process of being sold? If the answer is yes, did they try to bring him back to Quebec? asked PQ MP Pascal Bérubé.

Mr. Bérubé recalls that in the opposition, François Legault “has often intervened to loudly denounce the loss of head offices”. He is now wondering what the Prime Minister is prepared to do to bring some back to Quebec.


PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

Pascal Bérubé, PQ MP for Matane-Matapédia

Mr. Bérubé deplored the proliferation of what he calls “front offices”: he points the finger at the companies Molson Coors, Bell and the Bank of Montreal, and worries about the movement of personnel1 at Saputo.

He also cites the decision of the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, which closed its head office in Quebec to focus on Ontario, and the takeover of the forestry companies Résolu Forest Products and Domtar by Paper Excellence, established in British Columbia, but belonging to Indonesian businessman Jackson Widjaja.

Results

The company now has access to hundreds of thousands of hectares of public forest and another 160,000 of private forest. In interview with The Press in September2François Legault was stung when he was reminded of this foreign control over much of the Quebec forest.

“The sale of large forestry companies began before the CAQ government, unfortunately. We will try to regain control, he said, enigmatic. In the past four years, we have bought a lot more companies from elsewhere than we have bought companies from Quebec. In the forestry sector, it is valuable, if there is no social acceptability, there will be no exploitation. »

But Pascal Bérubé wants results and believes that a political party that practices economic nationalism must want as many head offices as possible in Quebec.

Inertia

On the side of Québec solidaire, the economics critic, Haroun Bouazzi, affirms that it is “sad to see a pillar of the Québec economy finding itself the subject of a financial flip from a foreign investor without consideration for the history and mission of this Quebec jewel”.

François Legault denounced the inertia of the Liberals in the face of the loss of our jewels to foreign hands, but it is clear that the government adapts well to the financialized global economy.

Haroun Bouazzi, economics critic for Québec solidaire

Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said Thursday that he “would have liked it to be sold to Quebecers, but [que] the damage was done in 2016,” and that he now plans to “work with Quebecers to be ready” when Sycamore is “ready to resell.”

In a laconic written statement, Liberal MP André Fortin said that it is “difficult to predict the impact of the transaction on the Quebec market and consumers”. “The important thing for us is therefore to protect jobs and ensure that the head office remains in Quebec,” he said. Its leader, Dominique Anglade, had just been appointed Minister of the Economy when Rona was sold in 2016.



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