The Parti Québécois asks the Legault government to “upgrade” its financial assistance program for the electrification of trucks by adding local purchase clauses. A formula that would prevent public funds from ending up in the pockets of foreign companies that do not even have a production plant on Quebec soil.
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On Monday, The Journal wrote that the food giant Loblaw was considering using Quebec financial support programs to electrify its fleet of 265 trucks. In recent days, the company has registered with the Registry of Lobbyists to discuss with the Quebec Ministry of Transport (MTQ).
So far, Loblaw has ordered its new electric trucks from foreign manufacturers, namely Freightliner (Daimler) and Tesla.
Management confirmed to Newspaper having had talks with the Quebec company Lion Électrique, whose products were not selected.
According to the criteria of the first version of the Quebec government’s Écocamionnage program, the Ontario company Loblaw could have received significant sums from the state to support its electrification project and order its vehicles from a foreign manufacturer.
“It goes without saying that the Écocamionnage assistance program should be upgraded. Several new businesses here could benefit from a local purchase imperative, ”said PQ MP and economic critic, Méganne Perry Melançon, in an email.
The latter believes that Quebec has the means to become “a true leader in the electrification of transport”.
“Maximize the benefits”
For its part, the government is not closing the door to inserting a clause concerning local purchasing in its next Ecocamionnage program which is provided for in the Plan for a green economy (PEV 2030).
“With the objective of maximizing economic spinoffs in Quebec, the ministry remains on the lookout for production capacity in Quebec in the analysis of these types of clauses or obligations,” said MTQ spokesperson Nicolas Vigneault
In recent months, the Legault government has been accused of creating a virtual monopoly for Lion after increasing a $ 250 million subsidy program for electric buses.