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Four local issues to keep an eye on in 2021

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To increase our collective resilience and prevent other crises, we must remain vigilant and reactive on the political front. Here is an overview of some of the environmental issues that will keep Équiterre very busy in the coming months.

1. Fighting the GNL Québec project

What you need to know: This pipeline construction project would see fossil gas shipped overseas via tankers through the Saguenay Fjord and St. Lawrence River. This mega pipeline would cut across 750 km of Canadian soil, from out West all the way to a liquefaction plant in Saguenay.

Why it’s so important: The environmental impacts are immense: 50 million tonnes of greenhouse gases would be emitted every year – the equivalent of 10 million more cars on the road! Beyond that, the daily passage of mega-tankers would threaten the survival of beluga whales and a number of other species.

Key date: March 10, 2021, when the public consultations report by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) will be tabled, after which the Quebec government will decide whether to go ahead with the project or not.

What can you do? Sign the petition to tell our elected officials that you’re against the project, along with the 112,000 other signatories who feel the same way.

2. Managing our waste

What you need to know: Quebec is among the world’s largest producers of waste per capita.

Why it’s so important: Landfills are exceeding their capacity, and markets for recyclable materials are drying up, leaving us in crisis mode.

Key dates: We are expecting a BAPE hearing on ultimate waste, measures on single-use plastic, and progress in modernizing Quebec's deposit refund and selective collection systems.

What can you do? Reduce the amount of waste you create! Follow Équiterre on social media for updates on how you can take part in the various public consultation processes.

3. Protecting our agricultural land

What you need to know: The pressure on Quebec’s farmland has reached alarming levels. Over 35,000 hectares have been lost since the year 2000, on account of urban sprawl and financial and real estate speculation.

Why it’s so important: Our agricultural land is a rare and precious resource – for our food security, and also for its role as a carbon sink.

Key date: A national conversation on land use and urban planning will be taking place throughout 2021.

What can you do? Sign the petition to demand a moratorium on agricultural rezoning.

4. Mobilizing around our municipal elections

What you need to know: Municipal elections will be taking place this fall in all of Quebec’s cities and municipalities.

Why it’s so important: It is a key moment to ensure that our towns and cities elect representatives who are determined to take on the transition toward a green economy.

Key date: November 7, 2021, the day the municipal elections will take place.

What can you do? Be informed, talk to those around you and maybe even consider throwing your hat in the ring! The environment must be at the heart of municipal election promises and debates. Stay tuned for more details and ideas for how you can get involved.

Let’s take action! Together we can make a difference.