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More than 200 public figures and citizens sign a Quebec spring declaration

Montreal, March 19 2012 - Early this afternoon, Fred Pellerin, Gilles Vigneault, Marina Orsini, Claude Béland and Dominic Champagne joined leaders of environmental groups and citizens from various sectors for a press conference to unveil a declaration calling for a large rally Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m. in honour of Earth Day.

The declaration is inclusive, positive, in defence of the public good, in favour of sharing wealth, and for the rights of all citizens and respect for the environment.

It has been endorsed by more than 200 public figures and citizens including such household names as Fred Pellerin, Gilles Vigneault, Marina Orsini, Richard Desjardins, Ariane Moffatt, Yvon Deschamps, Denys Arcand, Claude Meunier, Roy Dupuis, Sébastien Ricard, Vincent Vallières, Hugo Latulippe, Marc Labrèche, Margie Gillis, Marie Laberge, Pierre Lapointe, Pascale Montpetit, Jean-Michel Anctil, Fanny Mallette, Louis-José Houde, Stéphane Archambault, Frédéric Back, Jacques Languirand as well as…

… citizens from all walks of life: Laure Waridel, writer and environmentalist; Ghislain Picard, Chief, Assembly of First Nations; Drs. Gilles Julien, Alain Vadeboncoeur and Isabelle Gingras; Paul Gérin-Lajoie, Quebec’s first ever Minister of Education; Pierre Fortin, economist; Dominican Father Benoît Lacroix, 96; Émilien Néron, 13; Lise Payette; Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, Génération d'Idées; Pierre Thibault, architect; union leaders Louis Roy, Michel Arsenault and Réjean Parent; Nicolas Boisclair and citizens groups from all over Quebec mobilized to defend the common good...

... leaders from well-known environmental groups: André Bélisle and Patrick Bonin of AQLPA (Quebec association against air pollution); Steven Guilbeault and Sidney Ribaux of Equiterre; David Suzuki and Karel Mayrand of the David Suzuki Foundation; Pierre Lussier of Earth Day / Jour de la Terre Québec; Christian Simard of Nature Québec; Éric Darier and Nicolas Mainville of Greenpeace; the Fondation Rivières; Ugo Lapointe of Québec Meilleure Mine and many more.

“This declaration is at the heart of our April 22nd movement. It has already brought together hundreds of public figures and citizens of various political stripes from all walks of life. We now invite all Quebecers to sign it and to meet us in the streets of Montreal. Together, we can send a clear message to the government that we care about our planet and how we use our natural resources!” declared Dominic Champagne, author and stage director, who wrote the declaration.

Signatory Gilles Vigneault spoke at the press conference to say that he was happy to see people from all walks of life getting involved, “This is the first time in a long time that people have banded together to talk about today, about tomorrow. We are sowing the seeds that will one day bear fruit.”

Fred Pellerin, who also signed the declaration, added, “There are artists and environmentalists, but also plumbers, students, farmers, union organizers, business people, academics, people of faith, lawyers, native people, storytellers! That’s a beautiful mix of people to take us forward! Because better living is what we want!”

“I’m no expert on the environment or on development, but I completely identify with the values and principles of this declaration and that’s why I will promote them and be there on April 22,” said Marina Orsini, actress.

Together Gilles Vigneault and Fred Pellerin are asking all churches in Quebec to ring their bells on April 22 at 2 p.m. for two minutes, and inviting all citizens of every region, who will not be able to come to Montreal, to gather by a local church.

Non-partisan citizens groups from all regions of Quebec are preparing for the largest-ever rally in Quebec to send a clear message about the protection of our common good. “This is the first time in the history of Quebec that we’re seeing such solidarity amongst the citizens. Times change, and so must our ways of doing things. Just like the growing citizen action in the St. Lawrence Valley, whether in the Gaspé, Îles, Sept-Îles or Abitibi, everywhere the Quebec people feel the need to be heard on the way we manage the common good,” said Serge Fortier, executive director and spokesperson for shale gas protest group Regroupement Interrégional sur les gaz de schiste de la Vallée du St-Laurent.

André Bélisle of AQLPA, who initiated the April 22nd rally said, “The environmental movement is getting stronger in Quebec. We environmentalists have been working to educate the public for a long time about the need to protect our resources and natural habitats for all Quebecers and future generations. Today, what with everything going on, it’s important to do this, together.”

Sidney Ribaux of Equiterre declared, “Today we feel more than ever that Quebecers from all walks of life share this vision to defend the public good and the environment.” Nicolas Mainville of Greenpeace added, “If there is one place in the world where we are capable of doing better by the planet, it’s Quebec, and that’s why we need to be there in great numbers on April 22.”

“We are excited to see an unprecedented level of mobilization which will culminate at the rally on April 22. It will be a historic day!” said the groups behind the organization of this movement: Alter Citoyens, Alternatives, Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA), Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), Commun, Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), Montréal Urban Ecology Centre, Equiterre, FarWeb.tv, Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace, Jour de la Terre Québec, Maison du développement durable, Nature Québec and Piknic Electronik.


About:

The Declaration
You can find the declaration at 22avril.org.

Signatories

You can find the list of signatories at 22avril.org.

Where to sign the declaration
Quebecers are invited to sign the declaration at 22avril.org

The call to rally on April 22
Come together for the largest rally for the environment in the history of Quebec. This invitation to the April 22 rally in honour of Earth Day in Montreal and everywhere in Quebec is for men, women and children of goodwill who care about defending the common good, sharing the wealth, the rights of all citizens and respect for the environment.

The exact location will be made public shortly.

On April 22, let’s gather for a spring celebration!

For more information
Facebook event
Facebook page
22avril.org

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Marilyse Paquin
medias@22avril.org
514 462-2481

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