Stephen Gilbolt, a favorite target of the Conservatives

“Activist,” “against everything,” “ideologically opposed to much of our economy”: The new environment minister, Stephen Gilbolt, perfectly captures the radicalization of the federal government by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the eyes of the leader’s curator, Erin O’Toole.

On Tuesday, Canada’s Conservative Party was quick to attach a designation of “inexperienced and ideologically motivated” to those retained by Justin Trudeau to accomplish various tasks for the state, while worrying about a “very real danger to our economic and national prosperity”. unit.” 24 hours later, Erin O’Toole targeted only one member of the Cabinet: Stephen Gelbolt.

I have many concerns about Secretary Gilbolt. […] He has a proven track record as an activist! I am not a minister, nor a worker, nor a businessman regarding the issues of our economy. “He is an activist without a unified approach in our country,” Mr O’Toole said, after a meeting that lasted more than four hours with his parliamentary group on Wednesday.

According to him, sooner or later the prime minister will have to “realize” that it is inappropriate to entrust the orders of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to the co-founder of Équiterre – an organization that promotes “transitions towards an ecological environment and a just society – in light of the “economic crisis” and The “crisis of confidence” rocking the west of the country. In short, Montrealer’s elected record was to “oppose all” economic development, starting with the energy sector, for “ideological” reasons.

Western conservatives also greeted Mr. Guilbeault with bricks and a lantern. After Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called his appointment a “disaster for the Canadian economy,” the English-language National Post wrote: “The radical rise of Stephen Gilbeult,” accompanied by a photo of his arrest showing him handcuffed and wearing orange. Greenpeace jumpsuit after climbing the CN Tower.

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There is no secret agenda

Stephen Gilbolt defended himself from being a “radical” driven by a “secret agenda” at the head of the Ministry of the Environment. He made it clear that he would publish the “ambitious plan” presented to the Canadian population during the last election campaign, a few days before the start of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, UK.

The career of the new head of climate change control is not limited to his time at Greenpeace and Équiterre. Mr. Guilbeault has also served as a strategic advisor at Cycle Capital Management, a Canadian fund dedicated to “developing clean technologies,” including in Alberta – which has earned him the nickname “green exuberance” from UQAM professor Leo Paul Luzon – as well as being among the ranks of Deloitte & Touche and Copticum.

“Some people think I’m an extremist, while I’ve worked throughout my environmental career with people in the private sector, I’ve worked with several regional prime ministers. […] So I’m ready to sit down and work with anyone in the country that wants […] Working with us to fight climate change,” Gilbolt said Wednesday, noting that “many people are very happy.” [sa] nomination.”

He is not ready to abandon the project to build the Énergie Saguenay natural gas liquefaction complex – however Quebec has condemned him – by boycotting without warning the ongoing federal assessment. We must consider that the project is still under study until the most promising person withdraws it. Therefore, Energy Sagueni has not withdrawn its project, so the federal assessment will continue,” the Liberal minister noted on Wednesday.

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The block in its defense

For his part, the leader of the Quebec bloc, Yves-François Blanchett, greeted with particular enthusiasm the arrival of Stephen Gilbolt, a politician “who does not doubt the sincerity of his environmental commitment”, at the head of the State Department. The environment in the G7 country. “He’s kind of fulfilling his life’s dream,” he pointed out, as he handed her an olive branch.

“It will take Steven to have the reins to do his job,” or speed up the “transition.” [énergétique] which Canada, Quebec and the whole planet badly need,” the bloc leader warned.

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