Northern Québec protection

Northern Québec contains lots of natural ressources and there is an economic development plan for the territory north of the 49th parallel (approximately the latitude of Baie-Comeau and Lebel-sur-Quevillon), more than two-thirds of the area of Quebec.

The development of Northern Québec will include a number of different projects to exploit natural resources, particularly mining. Such large infrastructure projects will open up the territory and make accessing resources easier - they will also fragment previously undisturbed areas.

CPAWS Quebec is concerned about several issues facing this territory. We support the idea of protecting at least 50% of the area from industrial activity to ensure a real “insurance policy” for the conservation of biodiversity in the North. To do this, the ecological and cultural significance of the entire territory must be identified and preserved before allowing industrial development to occur throughout the North. Many of these areas have already been identified, including the Nastapoka, Broadback and Magpie rivers, the Lake Evans area, and some large forested areas which remain the habitat of woodland caribou. CPAWS Quebec advocates for the immediate protection of these sites. Furthermore, we believe that access to the northern area, and future infrastructure projects, should be better controlled. We recommend a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to study the issue. It could also identify zones in which it would be preferable to avoid creating new roads and other access infrastructure. We also believe it is necessary to revise the Mining Act.

 


*French to English translation www.superphrase.com

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