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Ongoing

Public participation is essential to environmental protection

The Quebec government must #DoBetter

The issues

At a time when massive new industrial projects are on the table, the fact that the government is weakening our environmental protection and public consultation mechanisms is extremely concerning.


Major decisions are currently being discussed that will have important consequences on the future of Quebec society.

The government has grand aspirations of using Quebec’s renewable energy to drive industrial development. The creation of wealth, economic development, the energy transition… it sounds good on the surface.

Équiterre is of course in favour of the energy transition, but not at any cost. We need to be careful with regards to the government’s industrial ambitions, because there are some major issues at stake:

  • In 2020, the government passed the Act respecting the acceleration of certain infrastructure projects (Bill 66), which weakened environmental and public consultation requirements in order to expedite construction of certain infrastructure projects. At the time of its passage, the bill was justified by pandemic uncertainties. Four years later, the government is still using it to push pet projects through, circumventing the public consultation and environmental protection mechanisms that Quebec society holds so dear, such as the BAPE (Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement).
  • In 2023, the Quebec government gave special treatment to the Northvolt battery plant. Just before approving the project, the government modified regulations in order to allow the company to bypass certain environmental protection and public participation requirements. This regulatory change will also apply to other projects…
  • The amount of renewable energy produced by Hydro-Québec is nowhere near enough to power the growing number of industrial projects that the government would like to move forward. It is therefore seeking to work with Hydro-Québec and private businesses to drastically scale up Quebec energy production, as well as the necessary infrastructure to do so.

Take action

Quebec’s environmental protection and public consultation mechanisms are in place to favour societal well-being and confidence. The government must respect these mechanisms.

Nothing can justify expediting development at the expense of the environment. Nothing can justify depriving Quebecers of public consultations.

Help us tell the Quebec government that we expect it to do better when it comes to the environment, and to do so in a more consistent, transparent, participatory and responsible manner.

Send an email to the government

Take action

Take action

  1. Send an email to the government

 The government is creating uncertainty by playing with public consultation mechanisms based on its current priorities. If citizens cannot express their concerns, their fears or their support, there can be no social acceptability. 

Marc-André Viau

Director of Government Relations

Project timeline

2024

January 

Équiterre mobilizes its supporters to demand that the Quebec government do better when it comes to the environment, and to better protect public participation and environmental protection mechanisms.

2022

June 

Équiterre mobilizes over 3,500 of its supporters to send an email to the Quebec government urging it to repeal Bill 66 (Act respecting the acceleration of certain infrastructure projects), among other things.

2020

October

As part of the public consultations on Bill 66 (Act respecting the acceleration of certain infrastructure projects), Équiterre and the David Suzuki Foundation submit a joint memorandum.

2020

The Quebec government passes the Act respecting the acceleration of certain infrastructure projects (Bill 66), which weakened environmental and public consultation requirements in order to expedite construction of certain infrastructure projects during the pandemic.

The consequences of a senseless law: view on the ground

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Director, Government Relations