Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon admitted he should have taken the mayor of Quebec into his confidence in December when he learned that Medicago’s parent company was seeking to divest itself of the company.
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Mayor Bruno Marchand would “probably” have had an interest in knowing what was happening in his city, agreed the Minister of the Economy, in an impromptu press, Wednesday.
“If it happened again, I would probably talk to him,” he said.
Mr. Fitzgibbon said he was informed, like his federal counterpart François-Philippe Champagne, on December 15, of the difficulties of Medicago, during a meeting with the main shareholder, Mitsubishi Chemical Group. Information that he described as “bomb”.
However, he believes that nothing could have been done in such a short time. “Honestly, nothing happened between December 15 and today. »
With Mr. Champagne, Mr. Fitzgibbon was looking for solutions, but was the first surprised to see that the Japanese company decided to go out of business last Thursday.
Taken by surprise
The announcement “took him by surprise.” “I knew it the day before,” he said.
Mayor Bruno Marchand reaffirmed on Wednesday his good collaboration with the ministers involved.
“I’m not going to throw stones at them because there is a good agreement with the Quebec government. »
He recalls that “the minister could not have known in December that the factory was going to close”.
The day before, the mayor was accused by the opposition at City Hall of “lacking leadership”, which he denied.
300 millions $
Pierre Fitzgibbon also mentioned a “conservative” estimate for the continuation of Medicago’s activities for about two years.
“We must invest 300 million in the company. We, as a government, with Mr. Champagne, we are very interested in working with buyers, but it takes a buyer. »
— With Taïeb Moalla, Marc-André Gagnon, Parliamentary Office, and Gabriel Côté, Agence QMI.