Premier François Legault implores Quebecers to be “patient” and “solidarity” in the coming days, in order to get through the major episode of power outages. His government is considering “other ways to protect itself” against similar future events, but finds it unrealistic to bury all the wires.

“I want to say to Quebecers: be patient. It’s not at all like the ice storm in 1998, first because it’s April and not January. We don’t expect to have three or four days of ice, “said Mr. Legault during a press conference held at Hydro-Quebec headquarters on Thursday.

He also calls on the population to be “solidarity”. “If you know people who are alone, call them and see if they need a place to stay,” he said, adding that he was “surprised” at how quickly the ice stormed. arrived.

Like Hydro-Quebec, the head of government reiterated calls for caution, imploring citizens to move away from power lines, and to move nearby vehicles if possible. A word of order was given to the Sûreté du Québec and the municipalities “not to issue tickets”.

Earlier, alongside Mayor Valérie Plante, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had hinted that financial programs exist for provinces wishing to bury their electricity wires, a solution demanded by several citizens at each such event.

But François Legault tempers expectations. “Burying all the wires of Hydro-Quebec, we’re talking about 100 billion. Maybe it’s done in some places, but you have to be realistic,” he said, adding, however, “that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to protect yourself.” . His government, he said, is “in the process of adding capacity” to Hydro-Québec’s generation and workforce.

A little earlier, during another press briefing held at the same place, the outgoing CEO of Hydro-Quebec, Sophie Brochu, had hammered earlier that he is pressing to begin “societal discussion” in Quebec on the development of longer-term energy “resilience”, repeating that this kind of weather event “is likely to happen again more and more”.

At this point, the Prime Minister is not considering “at this time” requesting military assistance in Greater Montreal. “Since it is concentrated in the metropolis, we are able to ask other regions to come and help us. »

According to Hydro-Quebec, between 70% and 80% of customers who are in the dark should find electricity by the end of Friday evening, around midnight.

“We are deploying all we can in financial, human and technical resources to connect you as quickly as possible. […] It’s not because it’s hot that we’re going slower, and it’s not because it’s Easter that we won’t give our 100%”, had assured the Outgoing CEO of Hydro-Québec, Sophie Brochu.

Remember that for the time being, the regions most affected by the million outages remain the Outaouais, where the ice storm arrived first, but especially the Montérégie and Montreal. The Quebec metropolis also accounts for approximately 50% of outages at present. Priority is given to citizens in danger, then to health facilities and emergency communication equipment.