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Canada blocks Laurentia Project over environmental concerns

Canada blocks Laurentia Project over environmental concerns

After a thorough and intensive environmental assessment, The Environmental Assessment Report of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) has concluded that the Laurentia Project: Port of Quebec Deep Water Wharf- Beauport Sector was likely to cause adverse environmental impact. The assessment read that the project could be negatively affecting the air quality, fish habitats, human health, and socio-economic conditions. It would also impact the current use of lands and other resources by Indigenous people for traditional purposes.

Mario Girard, CEO and President of Port of Quebec expressed his disappointment over the IAAC report. He said that the Port of Quebec remains convinced that Laurentia is a fundamentally good project for the economy as well as the environment, and there were workable solutions to address the raised concerns.

Proposed by the Quebec Port Authority, this project is an extension to the existing wharf and will authorize the operation of the deepwater terminal that would be exclusive for containerized general cargo in the Port of Quebec. The project included plans for dike retention and construction of a new berth to allow the development of additional 17 hectares of backshore space and construction of rail and road access.

IAAC performed a thorough science-based federal environment assessment with participation from more than 15 federal and provincial department experts. In the assessment, the views of the public and all potentially affected communities were taken into account. The Agency provided formal opportunities for public comments and inputs and garnered 800 comments through the same.

The Government of Canada has stated that this decision applies only to the Laurentia Project and does not stop Quebec Port Authority from submitting any new project proposals. The Government has also cleared that it continues to support the maritime sector and the Port Authorities across the country to generate growth and job creation in a sustainable manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of News2Sea.


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