Priority to health
and the environment!
An open letter from the Green Coalition to Ms. Sonia LeBel, President of the Treasury Board
Subject: Bill 66
Montreal, October 20, 2020,
The Green Coalition, an association of over sixty citizen groups throughout the Greater Montreal area dedicated to environmental protection, would respectfully like to bring Bill 66 to your attention.
The Green Coalition considers that this bill presents enormous dangers to our environmental regulation and supervision system in Quebec. We are no longer in the mid-1960s. In 2020, the health of Quebec’s population and the environment must be given priority. By putting the health of people and the environment first, the economy will follow – not the other way around. As you know, in our Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, it is proclaimed that everyone has the right “to live in a healthy environment that respects biodiversity.”
We must not circumvent our environmental protection regulations. Nevertheless, the Government of Quebec believes that by circumventing these regulations, the province will be better off. This is completely false. It is not by diminishing our environmental protection, which is already clearly insufficient, that real progress will be made.
… in our Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, it is proclaimed that everyone has the right “to live in a healthy environment that respects biodiversity.
Section IV of Bill 66 with the “Environmental Acceleration Measures” is clearly harmful because its structure still allows for the destruction of our urban wetlands in a context where we have already lost 90% of these natural spaces. In its totality, Bill 66 opens the door to very dangerous government immunity; summary expropriations and costs left to the goodwill of the state; the possibility of park destruction for certain projects; and the weakening of laws that protect species at risk, including fish habitat.
The Green Coalition believes that the health of people and the environment must be at the heart of all planning. Bill 66 treats the environment as an obstacle – a false and dangerous position.
We need initiatives of a different kind: Real investment in climate change mitigation. Investment in the creation of a true protected areas network. A research fund to protect species at risk. Improving the quality and protection of the St. Lawrence River. Rejuvenation and improvement of wastewater treatment facilities, et cetera. We support the construction of schools and institutions, but we cannot accept the even more intense destruction of our environmental heritage.
‘… the health of people and the environment must be at the heart of all planning. Bill 66 treats the environment as an obstacle – a false and dangerous position.’
The Green Coalition therefore urges you to withdraw and rethink Bill 66 – for the well-being of Quebec and its population!
Thank you for your attention to this letter. Best regards, Madam President,
Gareth Richardson, President
For more information, please contact Patrick Barnard at 514 463-0573 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Founded in 1988.