Marois flip-flops on Plan Nord introducing modified Liberal copy

Premier Pauline Marois ran her campaign on high royalties for resource development and an overall retreat on resource development to aid the environment. Marois introduced her new Plan Nord last Tuesday and it acts to copy the Liberal version while gutting environmental standards that were approved by industry and environmentalists. In a conference in Chibougamau, Marois touted her plan as a realistic one and not a marketing one, however opponents call her plan a flop.

The plan will maintain the $870 million Northern Development Fund made by the former Liberal government.  Marois also announced regional mayors would receive $200 million for infrastructure development, another idea proposed by the former Liberal government.

Marois's plan, however, reduced the amount of reserved land for national parks - to preserve the environment - from 20% in the Liberal plan to 12% in her plan. Marois said the percentage of reserved land can be brought back to 20% in the future while in other places the government protects 50% of territory from development.

Marois named her Plan Nord the "Nord pour tous" or North for all which takes heavily from the theme former Premier Jean Charest touted when he first announced the plan.

"Le Plan Nord, on l'a critiqué pendant un an et demi, c'est vrai, mais nous avons pris le temps d'y réfléchir," said Marois, which roughly translates to Marois saying she had a chance to reflect on the Plan Nord which she criticized for a year and a half. 

On May 9, 2011, the former Liberal government announced $80 billion in private investments over 25 years, Marois's government two years later reduced private investments to $15 billion in half the time.

Both the Liberals and CAQ criticized Marois's plan as she announced it with her Natural Resources minister Martine Ouellet.

"C’est pas mal beaucoup du copier-coller, et malheureusement, ils ont réussi à manquer le copier-coller," said Liberal house leader Jean-Marc Fournier which roughly translates to saying the PQ botched what seems to be a copy-paste job. 

"Le mieux, franchement, pour Mme Marois, ç'aurait été d'aller faire cette annonce avec Raymond Bachand, puis laisser les autres [ministres] à la maison" Fournier continued, roughly translating to saying Raymond Bachand would have been a better assistant to introduce the plan.

"C’est pas mal beaucoup du copier-coller, et malheureusement, ils ont réussi à manquer le copier-coller," Fournier

"Si les contribuables sont les seuls à investir dans le Grand Nord, ça ne sera pas très payant," said CAQ leader François Legault, saying the project won't make a big profit if taxpayers are the only people investing in the project.

Overall, Marois's Plan Nord is a cheap rip off of the plan the previous Liberal government planned to put in place. It is bad for the environment and doesn't appear to give any incentive for companies to invest in the region. On top of that, Marois's war on the English won't help as companies world wide will think twice before setting up shop in the expensive and entitled Quebec. It shows Marois has no plan for the north and as such she opted for a watered down version of Charest's plan that business leaders and environmentalists were ready to agree with and work with.

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