The delay obtained by the Port of Quebec by Ottawa in the Laurentia case shocked several opponents, including Quebec solidaire. “We want the Agency to make an informed final decision, but, at a certain point, the ball game lasted long enough. The rules of the game clearly favor promoters to the detriment of citizens, ”protested Ruba Ghazal, spokesperson for Québec solidaire in terms of Transport and the Environment.
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The member for QS was reacting to the indefinite stay granted by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. The Agency suspended the deadline for the Minister of the Environment to take a decision on the Port of Quebec expansion project. This was to be returned by February 17 at the latest, but the Port requested a delay to provide new answers to the Agency’s questions, before the latter submits its final report. The preliminary version severely criticized the project.
For QS, it is an undue advantage that is given to the Port. “It is unfair and unacceptable that the Port of Quebec has obtained authorization from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (AÉIC) to extend the deadlines for the environmental study, which has been underway since 2015,” said submitted Ms. Ghazal, by press release. For her, the Port is trying to “cover up the truth”. It questions the contradictory attitude of the promoter. “Two months ago, the Port, the City and the CAQ urged the federal government to make a premature decision, accusing it of delaying the process. However, now that the tide has turned, it is the Port which is begging the federal government to postpone the final verdict. ”
In addition, the district council of Maizerets is also opposed to the request of the port, qualified as “abusive and based on questionable arguments”.
He also sent the Agency a letter asking it to refuse any additional time to the promoter. “We recall the firm opposition of the Maizerets neighborhood council to the Laurentia project and we once again cry out from the heart … our neighborhood and its residents deserve better than what we want to impose on it again!”
Since 2015, the Port has been fully aware of air quality issues, pleads the president of the board, Joséphine Hénault, in her letter. According to her, the Port has had ample time to meet with citizens on this subject. On the contrary, according to the president, he “denied” the problem and showed a “crying lack of sensitivity towards the needs expressed by the community”.
“We consider that the request presented by the promoter is unfounded and has the sole purpose of obtaining an unfair advantage in this process, to the detriment of the affected community.”
The Agency must specify the deadline granted in the coming weeks.