February 25, 2024

Regardless of the inflow of billions of {dollars} of public cash into the battery sector, in two years Investissement Québec (IQ) has not produced a major doc on the varied dangers linked to this technique pricey to the Legault authorities, which consultants denounce.

• Additionally learn: Quebec requests a BAPE from Northvolt, which welcomes the information

• Additionally learn: Quebec will borrow one other $2 billion to assist companies

• Additionally learn: A brand new no 1 within the battery sector at Investissement Québec

“We put all the pieces on one card. “If the batteries are out of date in 5 or eight years, what can we do with our factories which have price us billions?” asks Luc Bernier, a professor on the Increased Faculty of Public Affairs and Worldwide Research on the College of Ottawa.

“The federal government must be extra clear and demanding in its danger evaluation. That is unnecessary,” says Saidatou Dicko, professor of accounting on the College of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and an professional on governance.

Saidatou Dicko, governance professional. Picture from UQAM web site

Quite a lot of resistance in Quebec

On June 15, 2022, Le Journal requested entry to data from the Ministry of Economic system, Innovation and Power (MEIE) for paperwork from the final two years associated to the dangers related to the battery sector.

The MEIE refused to supply them as a result of they contained “basically data regarding a ministerial suggestion ready for the Govt Board or associated drafts or drafts”.

The Economic system Ministry additionally requested the Journal to contact Investissement Québec (IQ), which in flip refused to ahead it.

The Journal appealed this resolution in August 2022. A settlement discover was filed a 12 months later.

In an affidavit, Danielle Vivier, director of knowledge entry at IQ, identified that there was just one doc on the dangers related to the battery sector for this two-year interval.

Edited examine by IQ

It is a 78-page examine by Hatch on nickel provide, with a number of pages redacted. This notably underlines the significance of securing this uncooked materials within the battery sector, for instance with a large like Vale.

ARG PIERRE FITZGIBBON

Edited examine by IQ

In latest days, Le Journal has interviewed IQ, the MEIE and the Workplace of the Minister of Economic system to learn the way many research have been carried out in whole on the dangers related to the battery sector. The response got here from the corporate, which identified that just one examine had been performed up to now.

The corporate defends itself

When Le Journal requested the minister’s workplace whether or not it was vital to know the dangers related to the battery sector at a time when the State of Quebec is pouring billions of {dollars} of taxpayers’ cash into it, the latter replied that this work is already underway be.

“After all. We assess dangers on an ongoing foundation. Our groups at MEIE and IQ are on guard,” assured spokesman Mathieu St-Amand.

“The due diligence that’s systematically carried out for any monetary intervention within the battery sector is rigorous and takes into consideration all of the dangers related to the intervention, be they monetary, social or governance dangers. We’re in the proper place,” he concluded.

-In collaboration with Sylvain Larocque

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