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News Release

Royalties, Environment and Citizens’ Rights: Survey Results Support Demands of Quebec Mining Reform Coalition

For Immediate Release

(Montréal) “The survey by Léger Marketing on the mining industry confirms the relevance and importance of our work over the last four years,” stated Ugo Lapointe of the Coalition Québec meilleure mine (Better Mining Coalition) today. According to the survey, a majority of residents of Québec including the Abitibi region (the most active mining area of Québec) agree that there is a need for further reforms to improve royalties, environmental protection and respect of citizens’ rights. “It’s very encouraging. It shows that our positions are supported by the people of Québec, even in the mining regions where the industry lobby is most active,” added Lapointe.

Conducted between February 17 and 19 for the Journal de Montréal the survey questioned 600 people, with a good representation of respondents from Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Results of the survey include:

  • 59% of the Québec population judges current royalties to be insufficient, including 73% of Abitibi-Témiscamingue residents
  • 71% of the population, and 72% in Abitibi-Témiscamingue support giving municipalities the authority to accept or refuse mining projects;
  • 71% of the population is concerned about the environmental and health impacts of the industry, and more than 60% from Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Québec think that current environmental protection measures are insufficient.

One of the surprises from the survey was that 80% of the population of Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Québec felt it was necessary to back-fill open pits once mining has finished. The proportion of respondents that support this option remained almost the same even when told that back-filling pits could compromise the economic viability of a project. “It’s been three years that we’ve been demanding a real public debate on this question in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and it’s been three years that our elected officials have refused to do it. Hopefully, now they’ll understand the message that the people are sending them,” responded Henri Jacob from Action-boréale de l’Abitibi-Témisamingue.

"The survey sends a clear message to our elected leaders: stand up to the mining lobby; stand up against the threats and fear campaigns! We’ll say it again, we support mineral development but not under any circumstances nor at any cost. Certainly not at the sacrifice of citizens’s rights and their right to a decent quality of life,” commented Nicole Kirouac of the Comité de vigilance de Malartic en Abitbi-Témiscamingue.

Since 2008, the Coalition Québec meilleure mine! has demanded an overhaul of the Québec mining sector’s environmental, economic and social performance. For more details about the solutions proposed by the Coalition visit their website at: www.quebecmeilleuremine.org

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For more information contact:
·Ugo Lapointe, Québec meilleure mine! (English or French) 514-708-0134 / ulapointe_quebecmeilleuremine@yahoo.com
·Henri Jacob, Action Boréale (French) 819-738-5261 / lereve@cablevision.qc.ca  
·Nicole Kirouac, Comité de vigilance de Malartic (French) 819-354-1911 / nkirouac@tlb.sympatico.ca