Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Quebec’s GaspÃ© region on Wednesday and made a $ 25 million campaign-style announcement to expand a wind turbine plant to produce blades for markets in the United States and from Europe.
The project is a partnership with the Government of Quebec and the owner of the LM Wind Power plant, a Danish subsidiary of General Electric, to produce blades 107 meters long which the federal government says are the largest in the world. .
“We have the skills, expertise and resources here in Canada to be leaders in clean technology,” Trudeau said during a rally at the GaspÃ© plant, about 700 kilometers northeast of Quebec City. , alongside the Minister of Industry FranÃ§ois-Philippe Champagne and the local and federal deputy. Minister of Revenue Diane Lebouthillier.
âAnd our government will continue to take concrete steps to develop our industrial advantage in renewable energy. “
Trudeau has repeatedly cited the turbine project as an example of how the need to tackle climate change can lead to the creation of well-paying green energy jobs.
Wednesday’s announcement also gave him the opportunity to visit a constituency that could be hotly contested in a possible election.
Trudeau has declined to confirm whether there will be a fall election, but he has done little to quell rumors with his recent surge in travel and spending announcements. With speculation that the election call is weeks away, Trudeau was quick to slam the Conservatives after Wednesday’s funding announcement.
After listing a series of green energy investments his government has recently made, the Prime Minister said: âI have been trying to explain to the Conservatives for six years – who refuse to listen but Canadians understand well – that fighting climate change and protecting the environment is the way to secure the jobs of tomorrow.
The riding of GaspÃ©sie â Les Ãles-de-la-Madeleine narrowly remained Liberal in the last election, Lebouthillier having beaten his rival from the Bloc QuÃ©bÃ©cois by less than 700 votes. In just over a decade, the predominantly rural riding in the eastern part of the province has been owned by the Bloc, the NDP and the Liberals.
Trudeau has repeatedly denied that Wednesday’s announcement was some sort of election preview, and he challenged any opposition leaders skeptical of his motives to go talk to workers who would benefit from the investment. .
“It is not an electoral interest, it is the interest of Canadian workers and of the planet,” he said.
The LM Wind Power plant expansion project in GaspÃ© will cost some $ 160 million. The federal government said in a statement it would provide “up to $ 25 million” that will help create 200 jobs and “maintain about 380 additional jobs for Canadian workers.”
Quebec Energy Minister Jonatan Julien, who was also present at the announcement, said the provincial government will provide a $ 29 million loan to the project, which he says will bring and maintain much-needed quality jobs. In the region.
Trudeau started his day in PercÃ©, where he hosted an economic roundtable and strolled the town’s scenic promenade for a photo with Lebouthillier, swapping elbows with curious locals and tourists.
During the opening remarks of the roundtable, Trudeau announced his support for the improvement of the wharf at the port of Cap-aux-Meules in the Magdalen Islands. He added that Ottawa was withdrawing its plan to transfer the port to a lower level of government, which was a request from the mayor of the chain of islands.
As part of the announcement, Trudeau said the government would install a barge alongside the quay to provide additional mooring by next season and conduct a study to determine what long-term repairs are needed.
Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
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