Economy and identity: Quebec premier delivers opening speech of 43rd legislature |

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says his focus for the next four years will be on reversing the decline of the French in Montreal and expanding Quebec̵7;s economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Legault is delivering his inaugural address to the legislature on Wednesday, nearly two months after his coalition Avenir Quebec was re-elected with a large majority.

He began his address by invoking the legacy of Samuel de Champlain, the French colonist who founded Quebec City more than 400 years ago, in what was the equivalent of a throne speech.

Legault says that Champlain and the leaders endow Quebecers with a developed, bright nation, saying that his government has a responsibility to ensure that “this beautiful francophone nation” continues.

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They say that the French language is the foundation of Quebec and they aim to stop the decline of the language, especially in Montreal.

Legault also claimed that Quebec emits far fewer greenhouse gas emissions per capita than the rest of the continent and said that the fight against climate change should not interfere with Quebec’s mission to increase wealth.

“Quebec emits 50 percent more greenhouse gases per capita than the rest of North America. We have to go long and fast (to cut emissions), but we also have to go with our goal of closing the wealth gap. There has to be coordination.