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Blue fund: still a long way to go to protect lakes and rivers

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Montreal, August 23, 2022 ? Fondation Rivières et Eau Secours cautiously welcomed the election promise to create a Blue Fund made by the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change (MELCC), Benoit Charette, and Premier François Legault. The organizations are delighted that the very first environmental commitment of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) concerns the protection and quality of lakes and rivers, but are concerned that these promises are not associated with measurable objectives and building the capacity of the MELCC to enforce its regulations. 

Targets and the means to achieve them 

The CAQ provides for seven new initiatives to improve the quality of rivers and lakes in Quebec, but does not provide any concrete target for each of them. This funding aims, among other things, to help farmers revegetate riparian strips and to help citizens install septic tanks. What proportion will be assumed by the State? And aren't we flouting the polluter-pays principle by shifting the bill to taxpayers? 

“These new expenses add responsibilities to the MELCC, but will it have the resources to enforce them? What proportion of these sums will be allocated to hiring resources, expertise and inspectors to enforce the regulations? asks André Bélanger, Executive Director of Fondation Rivières. 

This new expenditure program is not accompanied by an action plan and clear, quantified indicators. Such shortcomings in the conservation of water resources had been severely criticized in June 2020 by the Commissioner for Sustainable Development. The program provides funding for research on the prevention of water shortages, but it is insufficient. 

?We need more transparency on water use as well as increased resources at the MELCC if we want to be able to establish our water needs and avoid water shortages in the future. To succeed in sharing the resource equitably, the quantities of water withdrawn must be made public,? comments Rébecca Pétrin, General Manager of Eau Secours.

About Rivers Foundation 

For 20 years, Fondation Rivières has worked to preserve, restore and enhance the natural character of rivers and contributes to ensuring the quality of water and access to water for the population of Quebec.

About Eau Secours

Eau Secours, a non-profit organization founded in 1997, has the mission of promoting the protection and responsible management of water from the perspective of environmental health, equity, accessibility and collective defense of human rights. population.



Proposals in terms of water management and governance, as part of the Vire au Vert operation: 

Source :

Sophie Lachance
Communications and Mobilization Officer
Fondation Rivières
514-272-2666, ext. 307

Mathieu Langlois
Communications and Mobilization Manager
Emergency Water
514 588-5608 

Photo: Jason An/Unsplash


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