Okay - I assume we're all far in enough into Separation that I can make this comment. Like Linus when he had the school election wrapped up and just couldn't stop himself from talking about the Great Pumpkin, Rohmer cannot stop himself from talking about energy in the North - even when there is NO REASON whatsoever to do so.
Right after Michael Lucas is told by the PM things he already knows ("Okay, Michael, now that you're the English Deputy Prime Minister representing English Canada and you're going to monitor everything I'm doing"), we get 7 pages - 7 full pages in a short novel - of his backstory as Energy Minister, including the requisites mentions of the Mackenzie Delta, The Prudhoe Bay -to-Valdez pipeline, how much natural gas was found in Prudhoe Bay (7 trillion cubic feet!), OPEC supply levels sent to Canada (900,000 barrels per day!) and endless legal agreements Lucas had worked out in his outstanding career thus far. Page after page that not only has nothing to do with the story, but actually interrupts a pivotal scene where we are going to first meet the Quebec premier and get his side of the story. It's a tense moment, but instead of first confrontation between English and French Canada, we have to take a trip to the North and hear about energy.
I will admit here that halfway through it, I actually looked ahead in the book and seeing there were still pages of oil and natural gas exposition to go, I laughed out loud on the Metro. I have to wonder if anyone looked at the cover of the book and wondered if it was supposed to be funny.