Quebec Premier Pauline Marois labeled her first meeting with Stephen Harper be ”excellent.” She described the half hour meeting as ”very positive, very cordial, I’d say even almost warm.” Both had assembled along with other French leaders at Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to attend this weekend’s summit of la Francophonie.
Marois stated that this shows that a possible harmony can exist between sovereignties and Ottawa, regardless of their different political views. In Kinshasa, both the leaders conversed over numerous issues including Old Harry, asbestos and the free-trade deal between Canada and Europe.
Old Harry is located in the northeastern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and estimated to have roughly two billion barrels of recoverable oil, i.e. twice the size of Hibernia, east of St. Johns. As for asbestos, the PQ government had come up with a plan to revitalize the province’s last mine and inevitably the topic became a reason for separation between the two governments. Federal Industry Minister, Christian Paradis, held PQ liable for killing the industry.
Marois, the recently elected PQ on Sept. 4, stated that ”It was an excellent meeting,” as ”I offered Mr. Harper Quebec’s entire co-operation so that Quebecers are well-served.” She mentioned that “we agreed that even though he is federalist and I am sovereigntist, that it is possible to reach agreements that respect our jurisdiction.” She exclaimed, ”I got the impression that Mr. Harper is ready to hear Quebec’s point of view.”
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