Hydro-Quebec executive vice-president Éric Filion has announced that he will be leaving the crown corporation on Feb. 17.

This is the second departure announcement of a Hydro-Quebec executive in a few weeks.

In a news release published on Hydro-Quebec's website on Tuesday, the man who was also chief operating officer and head of customer experience simply indicated that he wished to embark on a "new chapter in his career."

"I consider myself privileged to have worked for the past seven years with a team that is dedicated on a daily basis to the achievement of Hydro-Québec's core mission and to customer service," Filion also wrote in the release.


In Quebec City, official opposition interim leader Marc Tanguay said he is concerned about the independence of the company's executives.

"You can have the best person as CEO of Hydro-Quebec, but if they don't have a complete plan for development, if they have a Minister [Pierre] Fitzgibbon who is always over their shoulder (...) and then running it like Dollarama? It won't work," he said.

The Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) leader said the messages sent by the government regarding Hydro-Quebec projects are contradictory.

"Last week, Fitzgibbon (the Minister of Economy and Energy) said that we won't need a dam if we do so well in the development of two things, wind power and energy efficiency, and then today we learn that there will be a brief submitted by Hydro-Quebec, but we're going to talk about building several dams," said Tanguay. "It takes a vision; it's urgent. And, in the meantime, things are in flux at Hydro-Québec. It's very worrying."

In reaction to Filion's resignation, Quebec Solidaire leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois indicated that there is "probably something fishy" in this story.

Nadeau-Dubois reiterated his request to hold an emergency parliamentary commission to hear Sophie Brochu in the national assembly.

"The energy transition, on this I agree with the premier, is the greatest challenge of the next decades in Quebec; it cannot be decided behind closed doors," said Nadeau-Dubois. "We have the right to know what happened at the top of Hydro-Quebec, and we have the right to know what the mission of Hydro-Quebec is. It belongs to Quebecers."

Parti Québécois spokesperson Pascal Bérubé also expressed suspicions about the independence of Hydro-Quebec executives.

"I don't know what Mr. Filion's reasons are, but if people are leaving, they must think they'll be happier elsewhere, and how does the government explain that?" he said. "You have to have a lot of faith in Pierre Fitzgibbon to consider that the sum of the advantages of his actions is greater than the sum of his disadvantages in terms of ethics and the departure of senior executives."


Hydro-Québec's letter stresses that the structure of the organization "remains unchanged."

Régis Tellier, vice-president -- operations and maintenance, and Geneviève Fournier, vice-president -- marketing and customer experience, will report to Sophie Brochu until further notice.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 31, 2023.