Interview with Roland Lescure far from Montreal, near taboos…

The former vice-president of the Quebec Deposit and Placement Caisse draws up the (provisional?) Assessment of his political adventure in France

Publié le 17 nov. 2021Jean-Christophe Laurence La Presse

The workplaces follow each other and are not alike for Roland Lescure.

À Montréal, l’ancien no 2 de la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) avait des bureaux bien isolés avec vue imprenable sur le pont Jacques-Cartier.

In Paris, its windows overlook the walls of the building opposite, in a very old and much more chilly room.

But for nothing in the world he would not change his job.

If he admits having left the box "on a whim", Roland Lescure feels well in his place as deputy of the Republic En Marche (LREM) in France.To the point of publishing these days an essay (our totems and our taboos, let's exceed them!) In which he makes his own diagnosis on the issues that slow down his country.

"I had things to say by my professional and political experience," sums up the man of more than six feet, who receives us in shirt arms and without tie, in his office on the street of the university, inTwo street corners of the National Assembly.

Follow Macron

An economist by training, Roland Lescure lived 10 years in Quebec, where he became known as vice-president of the CDPQ.

Even if his passage was crowned with success, he did not hesitate to let go of everything to follow Emmanuel Macron in his political adventure, leaving behind his family and "a job [he] adored [t]".

En 2017, il se présente comme candidat de La République en marche et est élu député de la 1re circonscription des Français de l’étranger (Canada et États-Unis), siège qu’il occupe toujours aujourd’hui.

Entrevue avec Roland Lescure Loin de Montréal, près des tabous…

The first months will be difficult.Roland Lescure must readjust to France and understand the rules of a game he knows badly.The political environment is another universe than financial circles.

« Quand vous êtes no 2 de la CDPQ, vous avez de l’impact. En général, quand vous appuyez sur un bouton, il se passe quelque chose. Mais quand vous êtes un des 577 parlementaires de l’Assemblée nationale, ce n’est pas toujours le cas… La courbe d’apprentissage a été pentue », admet-il.

Five years later, he seems to have found his bearings.As chairman of the National Assembly Committee on the National Assembly, he says he is satisfied to have "pushed" certain energy, food, housing and gender equality in businesses.

Roland Lescure does not hide that his stay in Quebec has influenced his method.That it has a "less vertical" way of managing organizations, a more informal side and more North American efficiency.

"I am very results," he said.The way I pilot my committee is rather appreciated [and I am perceived] as someone who knows how to go to the point and not waste too much time in palaver.»»

Totems and taboos

His stay in Quebec is also reflected in our totems and taboos, let's go!

Returning home in 2017, with a "more pragmatic" vision of the world, Roland Lescure says he was shocked by the divisions that tint social and political life in France.

Verbous debates and unproductive arguments, according to him, bother the progression of a country petrified by its "totems and taboos".Among these, the figure of General de Gaulle, the relationship to money, ecology, medical aid to die, cannabis and pension reform, the subject to which the ex-VP of the box is necessarilymore sensitive.

What strikes me is our ability to chicate us on details rather than tackling the background issues.

Roland Lescure

A follower of "at the same time" so dear to Emmanuel Macron, Roland Lescure says he is convinced that the solution is in the center and not in extremes.In compromise and not polarization.Among other things, he praises the Quebec model, "capable of generating the best of both worlds", with his social vision of European inspiration and his relationship to resolutely American entrepreneurship.

There is no doubt for a moment that Emmanuel Macron is the "appropriate" man to find this balance in France.Less than six months before the presidential election, he believes, on the other hand, that the victory of his chief is far from being acquired and affirms that everything can still happen.

In the case of his re-election, would he follow him for five more years?

He replies that he doesn't know.But his eyes say the opposite.Just like his book, which sometimes looks like a program for the next five -year term.

And the cash register?

We were not going to leave Roland Lescure without talking about the CDPQ.

Between the REM project and its new environmental orientations, the fund has not been unemployed since its departure in 2016. We are curious to know what he thinks of these last developments.

But as a good politician, the former VP of the box prefers to keep a little embarrassment."If there is something I hate, it is the managers of platform," he said.

By dint of insistence, he concedes that France would have "things to learn" on the way of combining private capital and public capital for the financing of public infrastructure, as in the case of the REM, a project to which it also hasbeen mixed with its very beginnings.

"But I will not go further," he concludes, if not as a citizen of Montreal, who is very impatient to be able to link Montreal-Trudeau to the city center ...

"But that, I think I'm not the only one!"»»

Roland Lescure will participate in a chat at the Square bookstore in Outremont, Monday, November 22.