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Last signataires : Julien - Normand - Marie-Eve
The environment must be a driver of the reconstruction, for the resilience of our societies.
The government of Quebec, under the leadership of the Premier and guided by the expertise of Dr. Horacio Arruda, has been promoting the values of solidarity, self-sacrifice and collective interest in order to engage Québec society in a strong response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
The fight against the virus continues to mobilize the province, its institutions, merchants, businesses, and of course its citizens.
But the government of Québec must also prepare and put in place the political orientations, legislative mechanisms and economic support that will allow Québec society to rebuild itself, to recover from the pandemic more resilient and united, prepared to face future crises and the one that threatens us more and more every day: the climate crisis.
Bill 61 for the economic recovery, which the government is seeking to propel forward at high speeds this week, would give it sweeping powers to, among other things, circumvent environmental rules and tendering procedures for awarding infrastructure contracts designed to rebuild the economy.
It sends a signal that the government sees the protection of our environment and the fight against climate change as obstacles to the reconstruction of Quebec and its economic recovery.
Yes, massive unprecedented investments will have to be made in the weeks, months and years to come. But just as public health has guided political, individual and collective action in the face of COVID-19, science has been telling us for years that the environment must be the driving force behind our reconstruction, for the resilience of our societies.
We therefore encourage the government to substantially amend its bill to:
- include mandatory environmental performance specifications in public tenders;
- ensure consistency of this bill with Bill 44 on climate governance;
- replace the environmental quality acceleration measures with resource enhancement within the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change;
- increase transparency and strengthen accountability mechanisms.
If that is not possible, we are calling for the immediate rejection of Bill 61 in its current form and for broad and inclusive consultations with all sectors of society in order to make it possible to invest in the Quebec of tomorrow, not the Quebec of the past.