By all accounts, Quebec’s Transport Minister is not having a good time.
Yesterday, Jacques Daoust had to resign from his post when Quebec’s Premier Philippe Couillard showed a lack of confidence in the minister. Daoust has had an interesting career. He was previously the executive director Investissement Québec before transitioning into politics. In 2014, he was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec as a member of the Quebec Liberal Party from the district of Verdun.
However, with the recent series of events—the public controversy he found himself in, losing his own government’s support, the criticism from the opposition, and his subsequent resignation—it seems like his political career is at an end. But what exactly was the death blow to his political ambitions? Why did Daoust resign?
The Rona scandal
The 68-year-old Daoust found himself amidst a storm of criticism from the opposition over his alleged involvement in the selling of Rona, a Quebec-based hardware chain for construction products and services, to an American home improvement company Lowe’s when he was Quebec’s economy minister.
It’s a case of public deceit. Daoust allegedly lied to the people about his role in a deal that saw yet another Canadian company swallowed by an American giant. The opposition sees this as the takeover of local businesses by foreign investors. They’re furious, and they wanted Daoust out.
Despite bitter criticism, Daoust continued to maintain innocence and claimed he knew nothing about the deal. However, the evidence suggests otherwise. Some of the emails obtained by the media show that the go-ahead for the sale, in fact, was given by Daoust’s former chief of staff.
The Premier Philippe Couillard was quick to distance himself from the disgraced minister. “Serious questions have been asked,” said Couillard. “They are important to me and they need to be answered very quickly.”
Although Daoust has finally resigned, the serious questions about the Liberal Party’s anti-business measures still remain unanswered.