Montréal, April 22nd 2016 - « Today marks a huge victory for the four groups who sought an injunction against TransCanada to force the company to submit its project before Quebec’s environmental protection legislation » stated representatives from Centre québécois du droit de l'environnement, Nature Québec, Fondation Coule pas chez Nous and Équiterre. These groups reacted to the complete about face of the company who had always refused, until now, to recognize any right for Quebec to weigh in on this matter.
The company, undoubtedly fearful of a legal defeat, decided to submit a notice of project to the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, without even waiting for the courts’ decision regarding the injunction.
The organizations understand the decision to suspend the current public audiences conducted by the Bureau d’Audience Public du Québec (BAPE), given that this process was a poor substitute to the company’s legal obligations. The organizations thus recommend that the Quebec government give clear and rigorous directives for the environmental impact study that will be required of the project’s proponent from now on.
Those directives, intended to guide the company in preparing its environmental impact study, must inevitably address, in addition to the environmental impacts and risks of spills, the economic viability of the project, procurement issues and upstream and downstream GHG emissions. All of which must be considered through adequate consultation with aboriginal groups. The process must be thorough and take the time necessary for a comprehensive analysis of all potential issues related to the project and proceed with a full public inquiry into the project by the BAPE.
At the end of the process, the Government of Quebec will have to fully assume its jurisdiction in exercising its power to grant a permit for the project.
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For more information:
Me Michel Bélanger, lawyer, 514 927-6195
Dale Robertson, Équiterre, 514 605-2000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Simard, Nature Québec, 418 928-1150
Me Karine Péloffy, CQDE, 514 746 6597, email@example.com
Anne-Céline Guyon, Fondation Coule pas chez nous, 581 989-0815