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Sale of Hydro-Québec land: the jewel that is the Red River and other heritage rivers is priceless

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, the April 3, 2019 – Fondation Rivières considers that Hydro-Québec has a social responsibility towards the conservation of the last virgin rivers of Quebec. These rivers constitute a water heritage of inestimable value that must be preserved for all the services they provide us in their natural state: sources of drinking water, habitats for countless fauna and flora species, engines of various economic and recreational activities, vacation spots and places of rejuvenation par excellence.

The information to the effect thatHydro-Québec is in the process of selling its land bordering the Rouge River to the highest bidder, over a distance of some six kilometers, dismays us. This sale would have the consequence of altering a still virgin natural environment and, more directly, of depriving the Montreal region of an exceptional environmental environment. Even more directly, some 130 jobs at two rafting companies are directly affected, because they risk being deprived of access to the banks of the Red River, essential to maintaining their activities. Fundamentally, it is the attraction of the Red River with its natural rafting experience, which attracts more than 20,000 people annually, that is threatened. This river is one of the only large rivers that is still in its natural state and relatively accessible to the Montreal population.

The Québec Aventure Plein Air site ranks the Red River in 3rd position in its Top 10 rivers in Quebec. The website Trip Advisor Canada ranks the two rafting companies on the Red River in 6th and 8th position among the 19 places offering outdoor rafting and tubing activities in Quebec.

But there are also the Magpie, Manitou, and Tonnerre rivers, Batiscan, Pentecost, Maskinongé, and others, which must be highlighted because there are still grandiose falls there. Such characteristics are valuable for Quebec. In France, millions of travelers visit cathedrals. In Quebec, it is our extremely rare falls and rivers still in a natural setting that constitute an increasingly sought-after attraction. These are particularly inspiring powers of water for those who approach them. These falls and these rivers are, in our eyes, veritable cathedrals of water. We must protect them.

We therefore urge Hydro-Québec and the government of Quebec to create the conditions that would allow these exceptional lands to be preserved. Hydro-Québec must protect the rare sites that constitute exceptional heritage. The development of a policy for developing the numerous waterfront lands owned by Hydro-Québec is essential.

-30- 

For information :

Alain Saladzius, eng., president
Paul Piché, godfather of the Red River
514 924-2013

Photo: Red River, Chrisspilon/Wikipedia

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