Québécois Block leader Yves-François Blanchet says it's time for Jason Kenney to "start explaining things truthfully", claiming that the Alberta premier is disclosing "false information" when he talks about Quebec's equalization payments.
“Canada does not send a check to Quebec. This is not true. It just doesn't exist, and he keeps repeating it, ”said Blanchet. West block Mercedes Stephenson. "I would be happy if he started to explain things in truth rather than some false information, as we see."
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The fight between the leaders began earlier this week when, following a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Blanchet made it clear that his party was opposed to any initiative that would lead to further extraction of gas and oil in Canada, saying “if They are trying to create an oil state in western Canada, they cannot expect any help from us. "
Kenney criticized Blanchet's comments, saying they came "a week after Quebec budgeted with a $ 4 billion surplus thanks to a $ 13 billion equalization payment from Ottawa," which he says came from the workers. that many oil and gas companies had to rest.
Kenney said Alberta has paid $ 600 billion in equalization payments since 1960, adding that the province has contributed $ 23 billion each year over the past five years.
"You can't eat your cake and you can't eat it either," Kenney said. "Choose a clue."
Kenney says Quebec needs to "choose a way" for equalization payments, oil industry
Blanchet said, however, that equalization comes from federal revenue and that "Quebec contributes more to federal income than Alberta."
“There would be no oil industry in Alberta if Quebec had not voluntarily or not contributed to the start of this industry so many years ago. We were the ones who provided them with money back then and we are not saying to keep giving us that money. The Québécois Block does not say that, ”he said. "Québécois Block says that at the end of the day we would do better alone without its oil, without its money."
However, when asked about the 44% of West's used oil in Quebec and Blanchet's reversal of Line 9 pipelines, Blanchet said he never claimed that Quebec does not use oil, but that Canada should use “less and less”. . "
"Forty-three percent of electric vehicles in Canada are in Quebec," said Blanchet. “This is a very good way to reduce our oil consumption and I was the one who authorized the change of direction for the 9B Enbridge line. For this reason, we are fully supplied in Quebec, and any other part of oil from Alberta, Quebec, would be destined for a single export purpose through Quebec, then to New Brunswick and then processing and export. "
COMMENT: The Kenney-Blanchet Fief is a Distraction
When asked if he thinks the separatist sentiment in Alberta is genuine and whether there is a genuine possibility for the province to leave Canada, Blanchet said it was their decision, but that the desire to become a country "must be fueled by something else. than anger, resentment. ”
"It seems I understand that some people in western Canada are not comfortable in this country," he said. "It's up to them to make that decision, but the desire to do whatever they want with their oil or their oil-based economic development model may not be enough reason to fuel a desire to become a country."
Blanchet added that he will not support something "that is dangerous to the planet and to Quebec".
"We must start, all of us, consuming less oil, not more and more, because we cannot as a country, as a province, as a planet, we cannot allow it," he said. "And it seems quite irresponsible to me to continue promoting it."
Open blanchet working with Trudeau if not involved pipeline expansion
But despite his differing opinions, Blanchet says he is open to meeting Kenney to solve the problem.
"A few years ago, I was known as 'the dizzy' because I had a pretty temper," said Blanchet. "Maybe I got older, but I'm making every effort to stay very polite, very peaceful in the way I do politics. So if it might be helpful for me to go there and have a discussion with Mr. Kenney or anyone else, I think I have a responsibility to do that. ”
During Canada's federal elections last month, the bloc won 32 seats, making it the third largest House of Commons party.
Blanchet says the party's mandate from Quebecers was "not to destroy Parliament," adding that the independent party "will vote for what is good for Quebec and against what is bad for Quebec."
"I don't think Canadians or Quebecers have elected a minority government to return to elections in two years," he said. "They decided this was the Parliament they wanted. And I suppose that comes with the obligation to collaborate."
-With Heide Pearson Files
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