“Alberta and Quebec must work together, not against each other”, Duhaime said in his speech.
The new leader of the Quebec Conservative Party is banking on cooperation rather than the contempt often expressed by other political parties towards Alberta.
Duhaime was elected as the leader of the party in April 2021. Prior to his election, the party was a relatively marginal force, polling at about 1-2% over the last few years.
Duhaime, a well-known libertarian radio host ran for leadership, promising to turn the marginal party into a major political force.
A few months after the leadership race, the Conservative Party of Quebec is now polling at over 10% in Quebec and reaching 20% figures in key areas near Quebec city.
Duhaime has made it a centrepiece of his campaign to stop indulging in hypocritical, so-called “green” measures and instead, focusing on responsible exploitation of the province’s natural resources.
While François Legault called Alerta oil “dirty oil”, a proven false statement, Duhaime believes that Quebec and Alberta can cooperate on natural resource development and become world leaders in responsible development.
“I understand that you are furious at Francois Legault for calling your oil dirty while he wants to squeeze as much money as he can out of it. It is disrespectful and hypocritical. It doesn’t, however, deserve some Quebec bashing”, Duhaime said.
“The majority of Quebecers are your allies. We want to drill as quickly and enthusiastically as you do. We want to be partners to develop better technologies to reduce the environmental impacts.”
Recent polls from the Montreal economic institute indeed show that half of Quebeckers want to exploit their natural resources, while only about one-third of them are opposed to it.
“Oil and gas technology is advancing rapidly. If the world is serious about reducing emissions responsibly, then Alberta and Quebec’s oil and gas production must play a key role in the future of climate policy.”
“Like you, we would prefer to see Quebecers become wealthier by digging in our basement instead of taking equalization payments.”
Duhaime’s speech marked a radically different tone than other Quebec politicians who often attack Alberta, along with the province’s media apparatus, based on false statements and misconceptions.