PORT OF QUÉBEC DISAPPOINTED OVER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S DECISION NOT TO AUTHORIZE LAURENTIA PROJECT
The Port of Québec reiterates its commitment to developing the port while protecting the environment, in service of the community and the Québec and Canadian economies
Québec City, June 29, 2021 – The Port of Québec has received the federal government’s decision not to authorize the Laurentia project with disappointment. “We are obviously very disappointed by this outcome,” said Port of Québec President and CEO Mario Girard. “It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to reconcile our experts’ opinions with those of the experts at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC), particularly regarding striped bass. We remain convinced that there were workable solutions and that Laurentia was a fundamentally good project, both for the economy and for the environment. But today we need to accept the verdict of the federal authorities and look to the future.”
Six years of hard work and the help of a hundred or so highly qualified experts went into the Laurentia project under the Port’s leadership. The result was a terminal project designed to meet the highest environmental standards, with the greenest and most advanced technologies on the market and innovative initiatives that would have significantly reduced the impacts of the project. Laurentia would also have delivered an overall GHG reduction of 84,000 tonnes per year across the logistics chain, including 7 million fewer kilometres of trucking on Québec roads alone. Reducing GHGs, which are responsible for climate change, is currently humanity’s greatest environmental challenge.
In the IAAC’s report, the Agency confirmed that the air quality issue in Limoilou is due to pre-existing conditions and that Port activities had a negligible impact on the situation. The Laurentia Terminal would have used ultra-high-performance electric and hybrid equipment and would have had a very limited impact on air quality in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
“We’re proud to have proposed a modern project of the highest quality that we improved many times over the past few years,” said Girard. “I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to all the groups, businesses, organizations, and citizens who worked with us throughout the process. Your support and advice were invaluable. Special thanks also to our two business partners, CN and Hutchison. The Government of Québec and the Huron-Wendat Nation, who shared our belief in the fundamental value of the project, also provided great support. Laurentia leaves us an important legacy. We learned a lot working on the project, particularly in terms of the economic, technical, and environmental components. We also built relationships of trust with numerous stakeholders, including First Nations and many community and business organizations. That legacy will serve future Port developments.”
The Port of Québec, a strategic asset
The Port of Québec will conduct an in-depth analysis of the federal government’s decision in the coming months to support the Port’s future growth in service of the community and the Québec and Canadian economies.
Said Girard, “The Port of Québec is one of the country’s five biggest ports and remains committed to pursuing its mission. The Port of Québec has natural advantages, including its greater water depth on the St. Lawrence River and its proximity to high-potential markets, including the American Midwest. Those assets will serve to strengthen the Port and the St. Lawrence River’s positioning in the global maritime network. Now we need to decide how best to capitalize on those distinctive strengths, in the best interests of Québec and Canada and in the context of the federal government’s decision on the Laurentia project.”
About the Québec Port Authority
The Québec Port Authority is an autonomous shared governance organization constituted under the Canada Marine Act. The ships that pass through the Port are central to a supply chain that moves approximately $20 billion in goods each year. The Port of Québec is a maritime hub that, according to the latest KPMG/SECOR study, generates and supports over 13,000 direct and indirect jobs.
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Québec Port Authority