I have never met Lucien Bouchard. Mr. Bouchard’s reputation is well known. He puts what is in Quebec’s interests first and has stood firm on that principle through both personal and political challenges.
I did not know Andre Caillé either until after he became Chairman of QOGA almost two years ago. With a common cause I have come to know Mr. Caillé very well. He is among the most knowledgeable people I know on energy issues in Quebec.
He was a volunteer at QOGA and promised to work as Chairman for only one year. One year was expected to be enough in those days. The BP oil spill changed everything. Overnight, the trust the natural gas industry had built up in Quebec through 25 years of exploration, with 5 of them being for shale gas, was lost. Suddenly, even Michael Moore-style political advocacy films such as Gasland became believable to the public.
In spite of the low public trust levels, Mr. Caillé agreed to stay on for an extra year. He was the one who faced the public on behalf of QOGA. Mr Caillé built up a new association from scratch and kept it together during the high stress times. Mr. Caillé was unfairly attacked, personally and viciously. He has and will continue to have my respect for having the courage and energy to do what he did and to stand by what he knows will be something very positive for energy independence in Quebec.
I am pleased to have a new Chairman who will support the dream of energy independence for Quebec that I am proud to be part of. I am excited to meet Mr. Bouchard and looking forward to working with him.