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Health, environment, economy: Quebec must stop being a mining Wild West, according to a new survey

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal/Quebec, August 2, 2022 – While large multinationals are eyeing Quebec’s resources and several regions are experiencing a boom unprecedented mining, an new poll reveals that the population is not ready to sacrifice its health and the environment on the altar of the economy. It calls for major reforms to reduce the industry's footprint, protect the health of populations and require the consent of communities before any mining activity on their territory. 

According to the survey carried out by the Léger firm from July 11 to 18, 2022 among 995 respondents from across Quebec, more than 2 in 3 people (68%) believe that the mining industry “generates significant negative impacts on the environment”. Among the solutions explored in the survey, we note: 

  • Health and the environment before the economy : Nearly 4 out of 5 (79%) say that health and the environment must be prioritized before the economy, “even if this means that certain mining projects will have to cease operations”. Just 1 in 3 people (28%) say industry and governments are “doing enough to protect the environment.” 
  • Reduce at source: Four in five respondents (80%) emphasize that “governments must prioritize the reuse and recycling of minerals before mining more,” and more than 1 in 2 (54%) think that “reducing mining is necessary to fight climate change”; 
  • Prohibit the discharge of mining waste into lakes and sensitive environments: Almost all respondents (89%) are in favor of stricter environmental measures, including “prohibiting the discharge of mining waste into any lake, river or sensitive ecological environment”. 
  • Environmental assessments and tougher sanctions: A similar proportion favors “requiring that all mining and expansion projects be subject to environmental assessments” and “severely penalizing any violation of environmental and public health standards” (86% and 87%, respectively). 
  • Consent of the populations: While several communities are currently mobilizing in the face of controversial mining projects in Quebec, a high proportion (78%) of respondents say they are in favor of requiring "the consent of local populations (e.g.: municipalities, Indigenous Nations) before 'authorize any mining activity on their territory'; 
  • Tourist and resort areas: Three out of four people (75%) ask to “ban all mining projects in tourist or resort areas”. 

Concerning the Horne Foundry in Rouyn-Noranda, more than 4 out of 5 people (81%) affirm that its installations “must respect the same emissions standards for arsenic and other metals as everywhere else in Quebec”. Same story regarding another installation where the multinational Glencore is also involved, with nearly 3 out of 4 people (73%) maintaining that “air pollution with nickel and other metals at the Port of Quebec must stop”. 

A second part of the survey relating to mining taxation will be published in the coming days. The maximum margin of error for the survey is 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The survey was carried out at the request of the Coalition Québec Meilleur Mine and partner organizations. 

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Source :
Quebec Better Look Coalition

For information :

National organizations (alphabetical):

  • Richard Desjardins, Action boréale, 514-708-0134 (via Messrs. Lapointe or Turgeon)
  • Claudel Pétrin-Desrosiers, Quebec Association of Physicians for the Environment, 438-831-0594
  • Anne-Sophie Doré, Quebec Environmental Law Center, 514-980-4572
  • Ugo Lapointe, Coalition Québec Meilleur Mine, 514-708-0134
  • Rodrigue Turgeon, Coalition Québec Meilleur Mine and MiningWatch Canada, 819-444-9226 
  • Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, Équiterre, 514-605-2000
  • Rébecca Pétrin, Eau Secours, 514-246-9075
  • Charles Bonhomme, David Suzuki Foundation, 438-883-8348
  • André Bélanger, Fondation Rivières, 514-272-2666 #301
  • Alice-Anne Simard, Nature Québec, 418-803-4992
  • Daniel Green, Society to Defeat Pollution, 514-245-4676

Regional and citizen organizations (alphabetical): 

  • Daniel Tokatélof, Association for the Protection of Lake Taureau, 514-973-5187, 514-212-2112
  • May Dagher, Coalition of opponents of a mining project in Haute-Matawinie, 438-820-5800 
  • Nicole Desgagnés, Rouyn-Noranda Arrest Committee, 819-277-8890
  • Chantal Maillé, Central Council of the CSN in the Laurentians, 819-421-4492
  • Véronique Lalande, Citizen Vigilance Initiative of the Port of Quebec, 514-566-5432
  • Marc Nantel, Abitibi-Témiscamingue mines vigilance group, 819-734-7981
  • Louis St-Hilaire, Group for the protection of the lakes of the Petite-Nation, 514-591-9167
  • Jacqueline Richer or Normand Éthier, SOS-Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, 819-242-0201, 438-521-8351

Elected officials and municipalities:

  • Benoît Lauzon, prefect of the MRC of Papineau, 514-591-9167 (via M. St-Hilaire)
  • David Pharand, Mayor of Duhamel, 819-981-0308
  • Tom Arnold, Mayor of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, 613-677-1001

About Coalition Québec Meilleur Mine

Coalition So that Quebec looks better! was created in the spring of 2008 and is today made up of around thirty organizations, including Fondation Rivières, representing more than 250,000 members in Quebec. The coalition's mission is to review the way in which the mining sector is managed and developed in Quebec, in order to harmonize its activities with the community and promote best practices on a social and environmental level.

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