(Montreal) As the fourth week of the provincial election campaign begins, a coalition of local and national organizations announce that the movement against the current mining boom in southern Quebec has expanded to include a dozen Regional County Municipalities (RCMs) representing 142 municipalities in 5 administrative regions of Quebec (see list below). All of them are calling on the government of Quebec to review its Mining Act and its approach to “territories incompatible with mining activity.”
"After the recent cases of Mont Rigaud, claims in the Kiamika regional park, and drillings in the heart of a recreational area in Lac-des-Plages, Mr. Legault and all of the parties can no longer ignore this outrageous issue that is growing every week,” insists Mr. Louis St-Hilaire of the Regroupement pour la protection des lacs de la Petite-Nation, a leader in the citizen movement.
“There is a consensus to intelligently develop Quebec’s mineral resources,” says Ugo Lapointe of the Coalition Québec meilleure mine. “But not by sacrificing tourist areas, lakes, drinking water sources, and highly-valued natural environments.”
A map published in August shows a boom in mining claims around Mont Tremblant and in southern Quebec with, depending on the region, an increase in claims anywhere from 49.1% to 408% over the last 18 months. “There are now more than 15,000 mining claims covering southern Quebec," says Lapointe. “And this trend is likely to worsen with the global demand for minerals. This is why we urgently need a moratorium while we review the rules to protect our sensitive environments.”
Municipal Conference begins on September 22
Organizations will be closely following developments around this issue at the 80th Congress of the Fédération québécoise des municipalités, which begins this Thursday, September 22, 2022. A recent Léger poll indicates that a large percentage of the population is asking "to prohibit any mining project in tourist or resort areas" (75%) and "to require the consent of local populations (municipalities, First Nations) before authorizing any mining activity on their territory" (78%). Almost all (89%) asked "to prohibit the dumping of mining waste in any lake, river, or sensitive ecological environment.”