Mr. Fitzgibbon, finish your job before you leave!

Mr. Fitzgibbon, finish your job before you leave!
Mr. Fitzgibbon, finish your job before you leave!

Sorry for you, Mr Fitzgibbon, but it really is too late to resign from your many ministerial positions. You are “condemned” to finish your mandate by the next provincial elections, in October 2026.

Prime Minister François Legault has made you his “number two” since the re-election of the CAQ government in October 2022.

When you receive such an honor and such a mark of confidence from the Prime Minister, the least you can do is be grateful to him by remaining in office throughout the mandate… And not until three quarters of the mandate, under the pretext that you have had enough of politics and its politicking.

I remind you that nothing obliged you to run again in the 2022 elections.

Great good to you, you were re-elected and the Prime Minister entrusted you with several ministerial hats, as you wished, namely Economy, Innovation, Energy and Regional Economic Development.

BE RESPONSIBLE

Following the billions of dollars that you made us invest in the numerous industrial projects which appeared highly relevant and priority, in your eyes as well as in the eyes of François Legault and the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, I find it inconceivable to let openly hear that you might resign before the end of your term.

Out of respect for all Quebecers who believed in you, it is too late to leave the government boat. You have made too many financial commitments on our behalf. Consequently, you must bring expensive projects to fruition.

HAD TO LEAVE WELL BEFORE…

Mr. Fitzgibbon, if you were not sure of fulfilling your mandate as superminister, you would have had to give up your place in the fall of 2022 when once again, in terms of the appearance of conflicts of interest, you were redoing the headlines.

It was following your participation in a pheasant hunting trip on a private island in Lake Memphremagog which belongs to a group of rich and influential businessmen benefiting from public subsidies. This caused an outcry from the opposition parties and the population.

But fortunately for you, the Prime Minister did not follow up on the expression: “He who goes hunting loses his place.” On the contrary, he continued to defend you and make you his powerful superminister of the Economy, Innovation, Energy and Regional Development.

Although in May 2023, Ethics Commissioner Ariane Mignolet cleared you in this pheasant hunting affair, she still wanted to warn you (as well as all your colleagues in the National Assembly) and stressed the importance of exercising extra caution during activities and events to which politicians are invited.

THAT SAID…

With all the economic issues that you are currently tackling and the commitments you have made to bring them to fruition, it would be truly irresponsible to bow out before the end of the current mandate.

Mr Fitzgibbon, you must finish your term. François Legault currently has his hands full with government problems. Now is not the time to pass on your multiple files to him.

I am referring in particular to the famous “Action Plan 2035 – Towards a decarbonized and prosperous Quebec” from Hydro-Québec which plans unprecedented investments of 155 to 185 billion dollars by 2035, an annual average of 12 to 16 billion dollars.

What about the 150 industrial projects totaling 13,500 megawatts (MW) – or a third of Hydro-Québec’s production capacity – which are currently on your desk when barely a handful of them will be fired? government green? This handful adds to the 11 industrial projects that had previously gotten the green light.

And of course “your” battery sector. Already projected investments in the battery sector total $16 billion so far. And according to you, Mr Fitzgibbon: “We will end up at 20, 24 billion perhaps”.

Global competition in electric vehicle batteries is fierce. Many projects risk falling flat along the way.

This is why, Mr Fitzgibbon, you must complete your mandate.

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