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Trudeau Announces A $25 Million Investment In A GE Wind Turbine Installation In The Gaspe Peninsula

Last Updated on 08th January 2024

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the Gaspé area of Quebec, where he announced a $25 million campaign-style investment to develop a wind turbine business that will make blades for the US and European markets.

 

The project is a collaboration between the Quebec government and LM Wind Power, a Danish subsidiary of General Electric, to construct 107-meter-long blades, which the federal government claims will be the world's largest.

 

Trudeau, along with Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne and local MP and federal Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier, told a crowd at the plant in Gaspé, about 700 kilometers northeast of Quebec City, that "we have the skills, expertise, and resources here in Canada to be leaders in clean technologies."

 

Trudeau mentioned the turbine project several times as an example of how the need to combat climate change may result in the creation of high-paying green energy jobs.

 

He also had the opportunity to visit a riding that might be highly contested in the event of an election after the declaration on Wednesday.

 

Trudeau has declined to declare whether a fall election will be held, but his recent flurry of travel and expenditure announcements has done little to dispel the speculation. Following Wednesday's financing announcement, Trudeau promptly chastised the Conservatives, fueling talk that an election might be called within weeks.

 

"It's been six years I've been trying to explain to Conservatives — who refuse to listen, but Canadians understand — that fighting climate change and protecting the environment is the way to secure the jobs of the future," the prime minister said after listing a series of green energy investments his government has recently made.

 

In the last election, the Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine riding narrowly remained Liberal, with Lebouthillier defeating her Bloc Québécois opponent by less than 700 votes. The Bloc, the NDP, and the Liberals have all held the primarily rural riding in the province's east for slightly over a decade.

 

Trudeau denied that Wednesday's statement was an electoral preview on many occasions, and he challenged any opposition leaders who doubted his motivations to meet with the employees who will benefit from the investment.

 

"It's not an electoral interest, it's the interest of Canadian workers and the planet," he said.

 

The expansion of LM Wind Power's Gaspé plant is expected to cost $160 million. According to a news release, the federal government would pay "up to $25 million" to help generate 200 employment and "maintain approximately 380 additional jobs for Canadian workers."

 

Quebec Energy Minister Jonatan Julien, who was also present at the announcement, said the province would contribute a $29 million loan to the project, which he said would bring and keep much-needed high-quality jobs in the region.

 

Trudeau started his day in Percé, where he conducted an economic roundtable discussion and posed for a selfie with Lebouthillier along the town's scenic boardwalk, sharing elbow bumps with curious locals and tourists.

 

Trudeau declared his support for repairs to the dock at the Port of Cap-aux-Meules in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine during the roundtable's opening remarks. He also stated that Ottawa is abandoning plans to move the port to a lower level of government, as requested by the island chain's mayor.

 

As part of the statement, Trudeau stated that the government would place a barge near the wharf by next season to provide more mooring, as well as conduct a study to identify what longer-term repairs are required.

 

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