Quebec Liberals ‘not interested’ in creating jobs, opposition says

WATCH ABOVE: Quebec's Liberal Party concluded its first caucus since shuffling its cabinet. Despite the changes, opposition parties insist the government is weak when it comes to the economy. Global's Raquel Fletcher reports.

QUEBEC CITY – The Quebec Liberal government concluded its first caucus since Premier Philippe Couillard shuffled 14 cabinet ministers.

Despite the changes, opposition parties insisted the government is weak when it comes to the economy – some are even calling Couillard’s job growth plan a failure.

“He’s not interested in the creation of jobs,” said CAQ leader François Legault.

The Liberal government promised 50,000 jobs a year, but Legault said it hasn’t even achieved half that in the two years since being elected.

Now, the Liberals are missing another opportunity, Legault said, by backing away from oil and gas development on Anticosti Island.

“People in the business community, at least in Montreal, I can tell you, are very unhappy with these positions of Mr. Couillard,” he said.

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“I think it’s sending a message that Quebec is not a good place to invest.”

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However, the Premier said the exploration project, which has been in motion since the Charest government and signed by the Parti Québécois government in 2014 – simply isn’t good for Quebec.

“Proceeding with fracking on an island in the gulf of Sain Lawrence is highly questionable,” Couillard said.

“The sad commentary here is that this contract should never have been signed without prior environmental studies.”

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He insisted that doesn’t mean he’s not open to other development projects.

“We have signed agreements with Tata Steel, for example, for $400 million. Junex and Petrolia have permits already. They are working right now in the Gaspesie regions,” said Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand.

So, while the Liberals won’t shut the door on resource projects, they won’t be the linchpin of their economic plan.

“Quebec’s future will not be based on fossil fuels. Our future will be based on water, renewable resources, hydro-electricity and our creativity and innovation,” said Couillard.