For the fourth time in six months, the Minister of Transport remains silent after our revelations about the poor environmental record of his team.
Contacted yesterday, the cabinet of the Minister of Transport François Bonnardel indicated that it was not possible to speak to him.
We wanted him to react to our report, in which we revealed that the government would not require greenhouse gas reductions for its sites considered green or “carbon neutral”.
In a short written statement, the minister's office however acknowledged that improvements were still to be made. Rather, carbon neutrality will be implemented gradually and the ministry is still developing its expertise, we are told.
“We want to improve our ways of doing things, but the short-term needs for major projects are enormous,” the firm points out. We are working with university researchers to continue to improve our practices.”
Since Minister Bonnardel promised that the third link to Quebec would be carbon neutral in November, it is rather discreet when it comes time to defend its balance sheet. He did not respond to our interview requests when we revealed:
- That the 50,000 or so tiny trees planted will take a hundred years to offset some of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted during the reconstruction of the Turcot interchange (in December).
- That another part of Turcot's GHGs was offset by buying carbon credits from a hydroelectric plant in India that caused several environmental damages (in February). At the bend of a hallway, the Minister had then affirmed that he would order a report in order to improve the carbon credit buy-back program.
- That the MTQ had revised downwards its targets for the number of construction sites to be carbon neutral, and that only seven out of 14 construction sites will be carbon neutral (in April). PQ Sylvain Gaudreault. What we see is that once again, the environment takes over. It's still a sterile opposition between the economy and the environment […] It's a completely outdated vision.”
For her part, Québec solidaire MNA Émilise Lessard-Therrien, described as “catastrophic” the environmental record of the CAQ. According to her, “the abandonment of measures to make construction sites carbon neutral is yet another failure”.
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