Bill 61 needs to be
The Green Coalition insists that the environment must be a priority
Montreal, Quebec, July 6, 2020
This summer, we are all concerned about the COVID-19 crisis that has shown us so clearly the link between the destruction of biodiversity and pandemics.
The Green Coalition insists at this time that the environment must be a priority for the people of Quebec and Canada.
For this reason, the Coalition declares that Bill 61 remains a huge danger for our environment and our civil rights, especially since the bill will be back before the National Assembly this fall.
The Green Coalition insists that this bill be completely modified in terms of its environmental protocols.
Bill 61 is a step backward and follows a 1960s model marked by urban sprawl and a blind accumulation of concrete with no regard for the future.
Without amendments, Bill 61 is an abrogation of the right to a healthy environment. The proposed Act continues the process of dismantling environmental protections initiated by the government with its Regulation respecting the supervision of activities with respect to their impact on the environment (Règlement sur l’encadrement d’activités en fonction de leur impact sur l’environnement, or REAFIE).
In particular, Bill 61 unilaterally suspends certain provisions of the Environment Quality Act (Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement) at the Ministère’s discretion; does not include at any time the public’s right to be informed or to participate in the debate; grants the Ministère the exclusive and arbitrary right to establish the amount of financial compensation for projects relating to flora, fish and wildlife habitats; does not allow the Minister to discuss projects, but only to impose conditions on them.
The Green Coalition requests that Bill 61 be amended to rectify the abuses mentioned above, and to allow the Green Coalition and any other interested organization or individual to have the right to participate in discussions on these issues. The Green Coalition’s formal notice, addressed to the Quebec government on June 11, 2020, has yet to be answered. A bad sign.
‘In 2020, the environment must be everywhere in our planning, thinking of the climate, our quality of life and that of our children.’
In the middle of June, a very large number of citizens and organizations asked that Bill 61 be changed. In 2020, Quebec must be modern and pro-environmental. Bill 61 is a step backward and follows a 1960s model marked by urban sprawl and a blind accumulation of concrete without regard for the future.
In 2020, the environment must be everywhere in our planning, thinking of the climate, our quality of life and that of our children. Let’s stop looking back, like old-fashioned nostalgics. Amend Bill 61 and think about the future with commitment and courage!
The Green Coalition is a non-profit association of groups and individuals with a mandate to promote the conservation, protection and restoration of the environment and the wise use of green and blue spaces.