For a truly green and
prosperous shift in Quebec
The People’s Manifesto for the defense of Quebec’s environment
By Tommy Montpetit
You are cordially invited to sign the Manifesto below with your name and the name of your group. You may also sign as an individual. Please send your signature to the Advocacy Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most importantly, please send the Manifesto, with your signature, to Premier Legault and the leaders of the opposition parties:
The Green Coalition asks that you circulate the document to your networks.
Please do so quickly as the government is expected to introduce the bill to replace Bill 61 on September 15.
The Green Coalition
September 9, 2020
For several decades, nature has been destroyed, from North to South, in a totally irresponsible way and this continues under the eyes of the people responsible for protecting our environment. Despite the promises and good intentions of the different parties over the years, nothing has managed to stop the big economic machine that seems to have taken over everything else, including democracy.
With mining development, logging, real estate development that continues its meteoric expansion and the industrialization of agriculture that continues unceasingly, this leaves little room for the protection of biodiversity, life and public health. All scientists agree on this point: we have a more than important gap to make up in terms of protecting and restoring nature in general in Quebec.
For several decades, nature has been destroyed, from North to South, in a totally irresponsible way and this continues under the eyes of the people responsible for protecting our environment.
Since the existing laws are hardly applied, authorizations to destroy seem to be only a formality to be obtained (we are talking here about an acceptance rate of almost 100%). The only real victories for the protection of nature have come from citizen groups, cities or organizations of all kinds, sometimes through courts that have come to validate the correctness of the plaintiffs and demonstrate the flagrant laxity in the application of the laws.
It is now more than obvious that the Quebec government, with its attempt to pass Bill 61, is not taking the protection of the environment, public health and democracy seriously. Several important facets of this law could have caused a real catastrophe, all in the name of economic recovery under the pretext of a health emergency. Bill 61 has been decried by many at various levels:
- anti-democratic law;
- government immunity;
- summary expropriation and costs left to the goodwill of the state;
- possible destruction of parks for certain projects;
- weakening of laws that protect species at risk, including fish habitat.
All this could have brought major and irreversible changes in the application of the laws that govern us in Quebec. Thank you to all those who stood up to defeat this affront to democracy.
‘It is now more than obvious that the Quebec government, with its attempt to pass Bill 61, is not taking the protection of the environment, public health and democracy seriously. ‘
This is not enough, however, since the government is coming back. We cannot allow a second “improved” version of this law to be passed under gag orders without a real democratic debate. It is of paramount importance to unite to ensure that real, viable and sustainable solutions are put forward.
It is necessary to demand that this revival be done not to the detriment of the living, public health and democracy, but by using all the resources necessary to achieve a true green and prosperous shift for Quebec. Several examples of investments and projects are available to the government:
- rejuvenation and improvement of wastewater treatment facilities;
- real investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation;
- improving the quality and protection of the St. Lawrence River;
- improving public transit;
- investing in the creation of a true network of protected areas;
- cleaning up former mining sites;
- investment in research and protection of species at risk through the hiring of biologists.
All citizens, organizations and cities concerned about Quebec’s ecological and prosperous future must form a massive union so that the next version of this bill will reflect the various emergencies we all face together. The economic recovery in this extremely particular context cannot be separated from a major ecological recovery.
‘It is necessary to demand that this revival be done not to the detriment of the living, public health and democracy, but by using all the resources necessary to achieve a true green and prosperous shift for Quebec. ‘
We cannot afford to allow the government to dictate, in the name of health emergency, a law that would only aggravate the catastrophic situation in which nature, public health and democracy already find themselves. We have a duty to act now to make this opportunity a reality, to give us the chance to have a modern and ecological Quebec for generations to come!
We therefore demand that Quebec’s environmental laws be improved and enforced more rigorously. We demand that a parliamentary commission be established immediately to formulate the necessary laws, with the full participation of the public.
Tommy Montpetit is a strong advocate of wetlands and the chorus frog.
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.