The leader of the Green Party of Quebec, Alex Tyrrell, was in the MRC of Vaudreuil-Soulanges on Sunday to speak publicly about the refusal of the Quebec government to protect Mount Rigaud from mining development. This project poses a serious threat to the region’s drinking water and could have very serious consequences for the region’s inhabitants.
Accompanied by Kristian Solarik, candidate for the Green Party in the Soulanges riding, Alex Tyrrell expressed his party’s very clear position on this mining project. In complete disagreement with this development which poses a serious threat to the MRC’s groundwater, the DMP supports municipal autonomy and the power of municipalities to say no to this type of project. “Right now, the municipalities are opposed to this mining development, but François Legault’s government refuses to rule out mining activity on this site. It doesn’t make sense that the municipalities say no to this kind of project, but the government refuses their request,” said Alex Tyrrell in his speech.
In the MRC of Vaudreuil-Soulanges, 18 of the 23 municipalities are dependent on groundwater. In November 2019, The MRC had made an initial request to the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to protect the entire region from mining. “The CAQ government is still neglecting the importance of protecting the environment and our groundwater sources. The prefect of the MRC and the mayors of the various municipalities and cities understand the importance of protecting Mount Rigaud from mining. The message is clear, Mount Rigaud must be protected,” said Kristian Solarik, candidate in the Soulanges riding.
The Green Party of Quebec considers that such pressure on municipalities is intolerable and wishes to increase the powers of municipalities. The GPQ believes in strong local communities, with control over their development, and the right to say NO to economic development projects that are not in their interests. Decentralization of power will allow municipalities to ensure their own development, while respecting their environment and their interests, and while respecting their values. Municipalities today are in a weak position when faced with large economic powers that would like to exploit their resources, and they need strong legal tools to protect their population from such oppression. The best economic, social or community development projects are those that are able to receive the support of the local population, i.e. social acceptability. “It is important to stress that the Quebec government should allow municipalities to say no to such projects and it is an essential part of the GPQ’s 2022 program to allow municipalities to have veto power. It’s nonsense that municipalities are fighting to protect their drinking water and are being turned down by the Quebec government;”