THE PORT OF QUÉBEC AND THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AGENCY AGREE ON A FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE BEAUPORT 2020 PROJECT
Québec, July 31, 2015 – Mario Girard, President and CEO of the Québec Port Authority (QPA), has applied to submit the Beauport 2020 Project for a multifunctional deep-water terminal to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Today the QPA received confirmation from the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, that the Agency will conduct an environmental assessment for the expansion project.
In a spirit of collaboration and with the goal of addressing environmental concerns the expansion project may raise, the QPA initiated discussions in January with the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC) regarding the steps involved in the Beauport expansion project development. After several weeks of talks, the process proposed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency appears to be the most satisfactory solution.
In the interest of finding a suitable solution, the QPA requested that the project be recognized as a designated project so that the expansion project can be subject to an environmental assessment by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. This process is well known and recognized at all levels of government. The same approach has already been used on several projects, and it will allow the government of Quebec to be involved and express its concerns on the matter.
“The Québec Port Authority took this initiative so that discussions surrounding the project do not result in a jurisdictional debate rather than focusing on an assessment of the project as a whole; such a debate would negatively impact the project, which is of great importance for the Port of Québec’s competitiveness. As a new space for economic development, Beauport 2020 is a major project for the Québec region, and our aim is to provide an optimal platform for the public to discuss the project, outside of the jurisdictional questions involved. We are pleased that the government has responded positively to our request,” said Mr. Girard.
The Beauport 2020 Project had not qualified as a designated project for the Agency, because it allowed the Beauport sector to maintain the same function it has now: that of a maritime terminal.
The QPA has developed an environmental assessment process involving public participation adapted to its port environment and based on the importance of each project and the potential impacts it may have on the environment and the community. The rigorous environmental assessment process announced by the Port of Québec, the first of its kind in Canada, will be used for future Port of Québec projects. “The environmental assessment process involving public participation remains a tool of which we are extremely proud, and it will be used for the other Port projects. However, in terms of the Beauport 2020 project specifically, we must find a solution that answers the concerns of citizens and the jurisdictional issues that face us. With this in mind, we believe that the process of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is the most fitting option,” said Mr. Girard.
The government of Canada’s environmental assessment will make it possible to take public concerns into account in a recognized formal context. The application of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act to the Beauport 2020 project will also make it possible to:
- Ensure that the project will be studied and implemented carefully and prudently to avoid significant negative environmental effects
- Ensure that the public has the opportunity to meaningfully participate in environmental assessments
- Promote the study of the cumulative effects of concrete activities within a region; and take the results of this study into account in environmental assessments
Located on federal land, the Beauport 2020 project provides the opportunity to stimulate new private industrial and manufacturing investment, which will benefit the region economically. This new space for economic development will help consolidate the Port of Québec’s strategic competitive edge in North America. It will make it possible to expand the Beauport port sector with the addition of a new 610-metre wharf, and an area behind the wharf that equals 8% of the entire area currently managed by the Port of Québec. During the construction phase, which is estimated at five years, the project will create 1,200 jobs per year. Once the infrastructure is in place, it will lead to 1,000 additional permanent jobs and will bring in an additional $100M in economic benefits. In line with its commitment to integrate port activities and community life and to improve access to the river, the Port of Québec will take advantage of this project to consolidate the Beauport Bay beach and undertake a redesign of the services provided.
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Advisor, Public Relations and Events
Québec Port Authority