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Quebec water strategy: the population is invited to take up the challenge

Baignade dans un lac

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, June 27, 2018 – The Fondation Rivières welcomes the news Quebec water strategy 2018-2030 made public by the Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change (MDDELCC). The document has the merit of identifying the numerous challenges to be met in order to improve the quality and preserve the availability of this precious resource that is water. The presentation of the document is accompanied by an unequivocal invitation to the population to contribute widely to it.

The Fondation Rivières very positively welcomes the significant increase in the budgets supporting the Strategy, in particular those dedicated to groups mobilized in the water issue, the creation of a Quebec Water Council bringing together many stakeholders in the issue, and the establishment of a new dedicated information platform, the Water Knowledge Portal, presenting a range of very useful information. This is an important information tool which will provide valuable data to water stakeholders, in particular those publicly requested by the Fondation Rivières in March 2017 concerning the performance of municipal sanitation works.

The Strategy, which replaces the National water policy adopted in 2002, is accompanied by a five-year action plan listing a series of objectives to be achieved. The document does not, however, mention the details relating to certain files showing delays,
in particular for the issuance of sanitation certificates to municipalities. The upgrading of water treatment infrastructure, although mentioned in the action plan, must be accelerated and accompanied by the required federal funding. The Fondation Rivières also recalls the urgent need to apply existing regulations and sanction offenders. The resources and mandates of the Department should be revised accordingly. Ministerial declarations are silent on this subject. The laws and regulations exist, but the Department's inspectors and analysts do not have all the mandates or resources to carry out the necessary controls.

“The Quebec Water Strategy paints a good picture of the issues that the government must tackle, with unequivocal popular support. The government will not succeed in achieving the mentioned objectives alone. It is desirable that every citizen contributes to it. On the other hand, the Ministry's capacity for action remains to be strengthened: its staff must be provided with adequate resources, its budgets must be allocated according to well-identified priorities and existing laws must be applied" summarizes Alain Saladzius, president of the Foundation
Rivers.

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For information :

Alain Saladzius
President
514 924-2013

Photo: Andrew Ly/Unsplash

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