Ex-minister panned RONA sale, files say

QUEBEC CITY — Jacques Daoust, Quebec’s former economy minister, opposed the sale of RONA to Lowe’s and was furious when his government approved it without him, according to a document written before his death and obtained by Quebecor Media. Daoust resigned from Quebec’s National Assembly in 2016 after taking heat for Investissement Quebec’s sale of RONA’s shares to Lowe’s, but maintained until his death last year that he learned of it only after the fact.

In the newly uncovered document, Daoust takes aim at Premier Philippe Couillard and his chief of staff for approving the sale behind his back, then adding insult to injury by demanding he publicly feign support for the deal. The Premier has held to his denial that he or his staff knew of the deal.