The leader of the Green Party of Quebec, Alex Tyrrell, was in the riding of Argentueil on Monday to speak about the state of our lakes in Quebec. In Quebec, we have world-class freshwater reservoirs that feed our lakes, rivers and streams. However, the neglect of our waterways has gone on too long. Biodiversity levels are declining, pollution from human activities is increasing, and if we don’t act now, the health of our lakes, rivers and streams will be sacrificed. We must protect them now, because we cannot go back when it is too late.
Accompanied by Luis Alvarez, candidate for the Green Party in the Argenteuil riding, Alex Tyrrell spoke about the party’s commitment to take concrete action to protect the province’s lakes. Quebec’s lakes face many issues, including septic systems, agricultural installations and invasive plants. Currently, there is no national strategy to deal with these issues and there are no established standards or limits for discharges into natural waterways. Not to mention that the Ministry of the Environment does not fund response plans and is not there when citizens want to take matters into their own hands and get involved to protect their lake. “This is a problem that can’t go on. Every year, we move forward without the proper regulations and without the means to protect our lakes. Every year is a lost year. We need to take action now!”
In order to protect the province’s waterways, the Green Party of Quebec proposes to massively reduce pollution from animal husbandry near waterways via strict regulations that will limit farming operations near water, ban pesticides and herbicides that pollute water bodies as well as strengthen agricultural inspections and give teeth to the regulations while accompanying farmers towards less harmful practices for water bodies. The GPQ will also establish a significant fund for the control of harmful invasive species and will mandate the Ministry of the Environment, in collaboration with watershed organizations, to develop action plans and interventions to combat invasive species that reduce the biodiversity of water bodies. The Green Party of Quebec is also committed to more adequately funding the reforestation of lake and river banks, working with and supporting NPOs and lake associations for the protection of the territory as well as prohibiting the drying and destruction of lakes for mining and construction projects.
“The Green Party of Quebec proposes to spend a minimum of 500 billion in a first mandate for the energy transition and for the environment. Currently, the budget of the Ministry of the Environment is about 1.5% of the total budget of Quebec. This is not enough to protect the environment, it is not enough to deal with climate change and it is certainly not enough to take care of our lakes! It is precisely for this reason that the state of our lakes is deteriorating every year in Quebec.