LAURENTIA: PROGRESS ON THE PORT OF QUÉBEC’S DEEP-WATER CONTAINER TERMINAL AND CONTINUED PURSUIT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Québec City, June 14, 2021 — After 6 years of effort and studies, the Laurentia project has reached a new milestone with the publication of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC)’s report and the federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change’s decision to refer the project to Cabinet, for a decision that will be based on the latest facts and evidence-based science.
As is the case with many other projects assessed by IAAC, the Laurentia project has been referred to Cabinet for a decision because two of the twenty environmental issues studied would currently have significant adverse effects. However, both issues have shown favourable developments in terms of substance and quality over the past decade. The Port of Québec has looked at them closely and revised the Laurentia project accordingly. The two issues are:
- Current ambient air quality in Limoilou: The IAAC report recognizes that the Laurentia project would have a minor impact on air quality. According to the regional public health authority, air quality in the area has improved since 2013.
- The presence of striped bass in the St. Lawrence River: The fish’s status will be declared in 2022 following a scientific review. Federal experts concluded that the fish’s status should be reassessed after confirming, in December 2019, that the striped bass population in the St. Lawrence River as it was known and identified ceased to exist in the late 1960s.
The next step is for Cabinet to weigh the project’s environmental impacts on the area surrounding the project site as identified in the IAAC report, as well as all other pivotal facets of the project and the latest Laurentia-related facts and knowledge. These include the project’s economic and strategic value, its role and significance for thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in Central and Eastern Québec, the creation of many permanent, high-quality jobs, and the broader environmental considerations that are so crucial in the fight against climate change. We are confident that the decision will confirm that major economic development projects and the environment can go together.
The Government of Québec shares the Port of Québec’s perspective that solutions are possible. As a voice of that government, Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault publicly stated that “The Government of Québec is aware of the IAAC’s report on the Laurentia project. There are solutions to improve the project. We’re reaffirming our support for this major development project, which will create wealth in the region and throughout Québec.” -
“As we’ve said before, a number of the facts central to the two environmental issues we’re dealing with have evolved favourably in the past decade. We’ve all witnessed the constant, gradual improvement in air quality in Limoilou and the return to health of the St. Lawrence River’s striped bass population. These facts have been confirmed by the province’s public health authority in the case of Limoilou’s air quality and by the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec for the striped bass. We take both situations very seriously and they’re moving in the right direction. We’re committed to finding the right solutions and innovating to deliver results.” Hugues Paris, Senior Project Manager, Laurentia Project
“The Port of Québec works tirelessly to implement environmental and sustainable development practices and technologies that make a real difference on the ground. Thanks to those efforts, the Port of Québec achieved the Excellence and Leadership standard for a third year in a row in 2020 as part of Green Marine’s environmental certification program for the North American marine industry. The Port of Québec will continue to deliver that same level of excellence, including with the Laurentia project, and will continue to take pride in its reputation throughout North America as a leader in sustainable development practices.” Mario Girard, Port of Québec President and CEO
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Québec Port Authority