Lobbying: the Desmarais clan in search of electricity

Lobbying: Desmarais clan seeking power< /p> , Martin Jolicoeur and Marie Christine Trottier MISE À DAY

A Belgian firm close to the Desmarais clan, whose second largest shareholder is France Chrétien-Desmarais, is asking Hydro-Québec, Prime Minister François Legault, the Minister of Energy and many cities to get help. energy. 

” Steps to obtain the various permits and authorizations, as well as the necessary electrical power, in order to build renewable energy production projects “, we read in the Registry of Lobbyists.  ; 

As Energy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon warns there won't be enough power for all projects, green hydrogen firm TESCanada H2 inc . mentions that she wants “an energy block from Hydro-Québec”.  

The Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, during a recent speech on the subject of renewable energies, in Montreal.

According to the Companies Registry, the first majority shareholder of TESCanada H2 is Tree Energy Solutions B.V., a Belgian firm with offices in Europe, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

Its second shareholder is FCD Inv. inc., owned by France Chrétien-Desmarais, who chairs the board of TESCanada H2. Until last Friday, she was the majority shareholder.

France Chrétien-Desmarais

France Chrétien-Desmarais is the daughter of former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. She is the wife of André Desmarais, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Power Corporation of Canada.  

Defector from Power 

According to the Companies Registry, the most senior executive of TESCanada H2 is Éric Gauthier, a former energy executive at Power.

Éric Gauthier

Prior to joining TES, Éric Gauthier was Director and Head of Capital Markets for Power Sustainable Capital's $1.6 billion energy infrastructure fund, associated with Power Corp. Mr. Gauthier began his career at Power in 2014, after his studies at HEC Montreal. According to Power's website, “He participated directly in Power Energy's investments.” in Lumenpulse and Electric Lion. He also sits on the board of LMPG. 

Quebec will invest nearly $1.2B

Two years ago, after his participation in COP26, Prime Minister François Legault showed himself seduced by the potential of the sector green hydrogen. 

“Get ready, you're going to hear a lot about it in the coming months and years,” he told La Presse.

Since then, the sector has developed with two major projects on the table in Baie-Comeau (Hy2Gen and Universal KraftCanada inc.). In July 2022, the Legault government launched a call for interest for the creation of projects for the production, distribution and consumption of green hydrogen and bioenergy.

In total, Quebec plans to invest nearly $1.2 billion in green hydrogen and bioenergy over the next few years.

TESCanada yesterday refused our interview requests, but its spokesperson confirmed that it wants to “implement an innovative renewable energy project”. and begin “its discussions with future public partners”.  

TESCanada H2 inc. in a nutshell 

    < li dir="auto">First majority shareholder: Tree Energy Solutions B.V. (Belgium)
  • Second shareholder: FCD Inv. inc. (Ottawa)


  • Paul Van Poecke
  • Marcel Van Poecke
  • President of the Board: France Chrétien-Desmarais 

Leaders non-members:

  • Secretary: Paul C. LaBarge
  • Principal Officer – General Manager: Éric Gauthier

Source : Quebec Business Register

In its strategy on green hydrogen and bioenergy 2030, the Quebec government explains that the green hydrogen “is produced from electricity from renewable sources or biomass, therefore with a low carbon intensity as opposed to gray hydrogen, obtained from fossil fuels”.

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