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

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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, August 23, 2022 – Fondation Rivières and Eau Secours cautiously welcome the electoral promise of the creation of a Blue Fund made by the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change (MELCC), Benoit Charette, and Prime Minister 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 to strengthening the MELCC’s capacity to enforce its regulations. 

Targets and the means to achieve them 

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

“These new expenses add responsibilities to the MELCC, but will the latter have the resources to enforce them? What proportion of these amounts will be allocated to hiring resources, expertise and inspectors to enforce the regulations? », asks André Bélanger, general manager of Fondation Rivières. 

This new spending program is not accompanied by an action plan and clear and quantified indicators. Such weaknesses in water resource conservation had been severely criticized in June 2020 by the Commissioner for Sustainable Development. The program provides funding for research into preventing 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 achieve equitable sharing of the resource, the quantities of water taken must be made public,” comments Rébecca Pétrin, general director of Eau Secours.

About Fondation Rivières 

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

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 a perspective of environmental health, equity, accessibility and collective defense of human rights. population.

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Documents: 

Proposals in terms of water management and governance, as part of the Vire au Vert operation: https://www.vireauvert.org/propositions_environnementales 

Source :

Sophie Lachance
Communications and Mobilization Leader
Fondation Rivières
514-272-2666, ext. 307
communications@fondationrivieres.org

Mathieu Langlois
Communications and Mobilization Manager
Emergency Water
514 588-5608
communications@eausecours.org 

Photo: Jason An/Unsplash

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