LONGUEUIL -- Québec Solidaire (QS) cast doubt on the carbon exchange that Premier Francois Legault is about to defend in California.

Sunday, the QS cospokesperson, Manon Masse, declared that the people in solidarity at the QS convention in Longueuil had not decided whether they were for or against Legault's plan.

According to Masse, the current cap-and-trade system allows large polluters, such as the McInnis Cement Plant in Port-Daniel, Gaspésie, to "make money".

She says that in terms of ecofiscality, QS "is not closed to this idea of ​​a cap system, provided it is built in solidarity."

"Currently, what the cap system allows is a plant like Port-Daniel to make money on the back of credits and the right to pollute. It does not make sense," she said in a scrum.

For now, the carbon exchange system enjoys a broad consensus in the National Assembly, elected representatives see it as an effective way to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG).

The Legault government will unveil its plan to fight climate change early next year.

In the meantime, Premier Legault will travel to California from Dec. 8 to 11 to discuss the carbon exchange with Governor Gawin Newsom.

"If he wants to defend the carbon exchange, let him shout loudly that the 'polluter pays principle' must be there, and polluter pays does not mean giving free permits to the big polluters, including McInnis," continued Masse.

In 2013, Quebec set up a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances, a measure designed to encourage businesses and citizens to change their behavior in order to reduce their emissions.

The following year, the province linked its system to that of California, as part of the Western Climate Initiative.

However, US Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark now argues that California 'deviated from its constitutional path' when it signed the agreement with Quebec.

Premier Doug Ford removed Ontario from the plan the day after his election last year.

Masse, Nadeau-Dubois re-elected

The final day of Quebec Solidaire's convention included the re-election of Masse and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois as party co-spokespersons. Nadeau-Dubois promised to "unmask the CAQ agenda" and expose Legault as a "conservative premier," comparing Legaul to former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper. 

Nadeau-Dubois accused Legault of ignoring science on the climate change issue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2019.