François Legault, asked the Bloc to support the ACEUM

François Legault demande au Bloc d’appuyer l’ACEUM

Justin Trudeau has met with François Legault Friday.

13 December 2019 15: 34

Updated at 22: 05


François Legault, asked the Bloc to support the ACEUM

Pierre Saint-Arnaud

The Canadian Press


MONTREAL — This is a dish well-stocked as the prime minister François Legault has made to its federal counterpart Justin Trudeau for their first meeting since the re-election of the latter, this fall.

At the end of the meeting, however, it is the chief bloquiste Yves-François Blanchet that Mr. Legault has sent the message, the more direct: “I asked Yves-François Blanchet, and the Block to support the Agreement (free trade with the United States and Mexico), not to delay the work, do not do as one is told to ‘filibust’ and that this be adopted quickly”.

François Legault has swept away the fears of the aluminum industry, concentrated in Quebec, losing feathers in the margin of this agreement, affirming that, on the contrary, “there are important gains for the workers of the aluminum.”

He recalled that prior to the conclusion of this agreement, the authority Trump had imposed tariffs punitive damages to the aluminum canadian. He argued that “it is a gain, since it is assured that there will be no prices”, while acknowledging that the agreement was not perfect and that it would have been preferable “that there is not a clause of avoidance where the Mexico can supply with aluminum, which comes from China (…) This is not ideal, but it is a gain and I think that it is necessary to jump on this gain quickly.”

In this context, the prime minister said that “the Bloc québécois is defending the interests of Quebecers and it is in the interests of Quebecers that this agreement be ratified, adopted.” Mr. Legault has not failed to mention the surplus of $ 20 billion to Québec’s trade balance with the United States to justify the need to “protect the market” by ratifying the agreement.

The response of the head bloquiste is not made to wait. In an email to The canadian Press, Mr. Blanchet replied that his training is “working exclusively in the interests of Quebec, of Quebecers, of all regions” and they request “that the workers of the aluminium have the right to the same protection as the workers in the steel, left to renegotiate. We want the best agreement possible for our world”.

Earlier in the day, however, the aluminum Association of Canada has also asked the parliamentarians to ratify the agreement. Its president and ceo Jean Simard, concludes that, after “a detailed review” of the Agreement Canada Mexico United States (ACEUM), the court “will help to ensure a sustainable future for the industry. “This agreement provides a framework for sustainable and predictable for our commerce and laid the foundations of the modernisation of the way in which our three countries are doing business in order to make the best use of this commercial space renewed”, he adds.

Funding requests

François Legault took advantage of the presence of Justin Trudeau to return to the load on the requests of federal funding for public transit, namely the new tram projects, now that the financing of Quebec is put together.

According to him, the Trudeau government is “very open” to the projects, but these do not necessarily correspond to the criteria of federal infrastructure programs, which contributes to the steps, to the great displeasure of Mr. Legault. “I would like it to happen more quickly for projects in the East of Montreal, Longueuil, between Chambly and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu), Laval, and Gatineau”, a-t-he desired.

“I would also like the train Quebec-Trois-Rivières-Montreal-Toronto-Windsor is done as quickly as possible,” he added to a menu already heavy.

Moreover, François Legault said his vis-à-vis the question of taxing the giants of the web, in a direction that seems to have become unavoidable: “The position is common, that is to say that we would like the GST to be applied as quickly as possible, as it has already been done in Quebec with the QST. For what is the tax on the profits that would flow through a 3 percent on income, we prefer to wait until 2020 to get this done with the OECD”, he said, repeating a position already expressed, Quebec wanting to act with the force of numbers rather than its own to deal with these powerful companies.

Secularism: the disagreement persists

“I still insisted to go back on the Law 21 (on secularism), and respect for the quebec nation,” said Mr. Legault to come out of the meeting before even being questioned on it.

“It is important that, even if the federal government does not agree with some decisions of the government of Quebec, that it adheres to these decisions. It is supported by a majority of Quebecers, it has been adopted in good and due form to the national Assembly,” he argued.

“I do not ask for his agreement with Justin Trudeau, but I ask that he respects the decision of the quebec nation.”

Justin Trudeau has not addressed journalists at the end of the meeting, just a short word of use to his arrival to insist on the matters that are the subject of an agreement between the two governments, adding that they would discuss those “on which we will continue to work together”, a euphemism chosen by Justin Trudeau to refer to this apple of discord.

The two men, accompanied by their ministers of intergovernmental relations, asked by chrystia Freeland and Sonia LeBel, and the québec lieutenant of Mr. Trudeau, Pablo Rodriguez, had gathered in the montreal offices of Mr. Legault.

A short demonstration of fifty people opposed to the construction of pipelines and in support of indigenous peoples was held in front of the building of the centre town of Montreal, or the heads of government of Quebec and Canada met.

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