Race for the leadership of the PCC: Blanchet will only intervene if it is a question of Quebec

Asked about the candidacy of Jean Charest for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada (PCC), the leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, said that he will only intervene if it is a question of Quebec.

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“I do not interfere in the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party, I interfere in the interests of Quebec,” launched the Bloc leader at the microphone of Benoit Dutrizac on Qub radio, Thursday.

Yves-François Blanchet believes that “the Quebec Conservatives are turning their backs on Quebec”. “[Ceux] who had said ”no, we are going to respect the will of Quebec” put themselves behind Jean Charest, and the first thing he said was that he was going to go against law 21 [sur la laïcité]. Jean Charest, it is not an effort for him to turn his back on Quebec, it has been done for years”, he declared.

He believes that to have a united Conservative party, the future leader will have to deal with “those who are a little more progressive in the east” and with those, “especially Quebec”, who are hostile to pipelines.

Mr. Blanchet thus recalled that it was Jean Charest who set up the carbon exchange in May 2008, whereas today the latter says that he would not close the door to pipeline projects.

“All the increase in oil production is a dramatic contribution to climate change. The UN, even in the context of the war in Ukraine, (…) says that increasing oil production is not a solution”, lamented Yves-François Blanchet.

For him, the real problem is the supply of natural gas in Germany, “and the United States has infrastructure in Portland that could be used to supply Germany with natural gas. Quebec and Canada do not have that (…) and it could only exist in, at best, 5 to 10 years”.

He believes that the war in Ukraine is “a pretext for Western Canada to restart the increase in the production of gas and oil”.

Old scores to settle

Yves-François Blanchet still describes Mr. Charest as being “a politician of exceptional talent”.

“Unfortunately, it is not the vehicle of Quebec’s interests, it is not the vehicle of anyone’s interests. It seems to be the vehicle of its own ambition,” he said.

“I have old accounts with Jean Charest (…) I remember what he did to the student movement, I remember what he did in Quebec in general (…) so I I really want to have Jean Charest ahead of me.”

He added that to win the Conservative race, Mr. Charest will have to convince that he is a Conservative “because for the moment, he behaves like a Liberal”.


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