As in 2020 and 2021, 2022 started out in the context of a pandemic and lockdown. As such, we continued to work to protect the health and safety of our employees, partners, and the community. In addition, following the adoption by the federal government of a mandatory vaccination policy for employees, the Port of Québec did the same for its staff. This was also extended to suppliers and partners who had to report to the port. This policy was suspended in June, given the positive developments. Changes in the health measures meant that employees could return to our premises. With the pandemic, remote working has become a common practice and we have therefore established a remote work policy.
Throughout the year, we continued our we continued our employee health program with a range of activities. Sessions on mental health, sleep, and nutrition were offered to employees. Upon their return in-person, we implemented a group exercise program over lunch hours, which saw an excellent participation rate. New activities, such as chair massages, were greatly appreciated by the employees.
In 2022, we continued to develop and deploy our Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHS). Our local health and safety committee has been very involved in reviewing the system’s processes, in addition to participating in accident investigations, meeting approximately ten times, and conducting monthly inspections of our buildings.
We also added and updated certain procedures, including working at heights, working in confined spaces, and excavation and trench work. In addition, we established a respiratory protection program, a new entry permit and a rescue plan. Custom trainings that we have developed, as well as several others, were given to employees on those topics. Finally, we continued with our scheduled inspections of equipment and workplaces and continued our efforts to improve the lockout of our electrical installations.
Meetings of the Port of Québec’s Environment, Health and Safety Committee continued with operators to improve our practices throughout the port. We created a process for sharing trainings between partners and conducted targeted meetings in specific areas to make improvements.
The Health and Safety team has also participated in various prevention activities together with the Port’s different teams. These included patrol boat simulations, including confined space rescues, water rescues, a blind spot workshop, and the emergency administration of naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose.
We were also ready for the return of the cruises after meeting with all of our partners to discuss the rules in force, to train them and to support the everyone in their efforts to respect the secure areas. In particular, we introduced a new inspection form. For our employees, we introduced a new online incident reporting tool for minor incidents. The OHS team also participated in the analysis and implementation of swimming safety standards at the Port of Québec Oasis.
The Port of Québec is a proud founding member of the Green Marine certification program. This voluntary certification aims to guide the marine industry towards environmental excellence and the adoption of concrete and measurable actions that go beyond regulatory requirements.
In 2022, the Port was the only port to have maintained the highest level of all applicable criteria for a 5th consecutive year among the approximately 50 North American port authorities participants.
With citizens’ concerns about air quality in mind, we collaborated with the Ministère de l’Environnement du Québec and Ville de Québec to set up a synchronized network of eight air quality measurement stations in the Cité-Limoilou borough.
This network includes the Port’s two permanent stations in the community and a third mobile station made available to the City. This two-month sampling campaign included the analysis of particulate matter and approximately thirty metals. This approach aims to continue efforts to understand air quality in the Cité-Limoilou sector and to inform citizens about potential sources of contaminants.
This initiative is an addition to the Port of Québec’s contribution to the Mon environnement, ma santé [My environment, my health] initiative, led by the CIUSSSCN public health directorate. The Groupe de travail sur les contaminants atmosphériques [working group on air contaminants], commissioned by the Ministre de l’Environnement du Québec in 2022, is also an active participant in the initiative.
As part of COP 27, the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Port of Québec officially joined the United Nations Global Compact. By joining the compact, we intend to align our strategy and operations with the 10 universal principles related to human rights, labour, the environment, and the fight against corruption. The Port also intends to take steps to advance societal goals and implement the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This commitment is in addition to the Port’s commitment to the Worldwide Network of Port Cities’ 2030 agenda. As part of our commitment, in 2022, we participated in the prioritization exercise on the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets for the port industry, in partnership with the Chair in Eco-Consulting at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and the four other Canadian port authorities on the St. Lawrence.
2022 marks the end of the 2017–2022 SDAP. During this period, the Port of Québec completed 26 of the 27 targeted actions in 2017, many of which we are working to improve continuously, specifically air quality, sound environment, waste management, and community partnerships. To summarize, our action plan was a success on many fronts and allowed us not only to maintain the highest standards of the Green Marine program, but also to develop links with numerous economic, tourism, community, and municipal partners, government, and Indigenous peoples, as well as in the field of research and innovation.
With its new strategic plan and its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact, the Port has embarked on an approach that will allow it to establish its new environment, social and governance (ESG) strategy and to develop its 3rd Sustainable Development Action Plan, for 2024–2029. This plan will focus in particular on biodiversity and the energy transition. The approach will mobilize all sectors of the organization by actively involving them in the process while aligning with the challenges that our port community and other port stakeholders are currently facing.
Proudly committed to the Défi Saint-Laurent program, the Port of Québec and the Monastère des Augustines gathered to clean up the banks of Anse Brown, where nearly 400 kg of waste were collected. This initiative is part of the Opération Saint-Laurent project, led by Stratégies Saint-Laurent and Mission 1000 tonnes.
More than 300 kilogrammes of waste were collected on the banks of Anse Gilmour, on the south bank of the river, with the help of approximately 40 volunteers as part of Ocean Week. In addition to clean-up activities, Ocean Week is a digital and interactive educational program adapted to youth that aims to mobilize and educate the community to deepen its knowledge of water quality in the St. Lawrence River and the ocean. The Port has been a proud partner of Ocean Week for the second consecutive year.
Since 2019, nearly 4,000 kg of waste has been removed from the aquatic environment during eight clean-up operations.
In June 2022, the Port of Québec met with citizens to explain the characteristics of Japanese knotweed, an invasive exotic species that has been found on Québec City’s South Shore. This meeting provided an opportunity to conduct a field visit and explain the next steps to be put in place to develop a characterization plan for Japanese knotweed.
To carry out this mandate, the Port of Québec mandated the Association Forestière des Deux Rives (AF2R) to identify Japanese knotweed colonies and to establish control strategies for the sector targeted by the project. The plan was then presented to citizens. Control mechanisms will be determined at a later time.
In 2022, we continued our work to foster a harmonious coexistence with the community. Four meetings were held with the members of the Port-Community Relations Committee to discuss major issues related to port activities. Four meetings were also organized with the representatives of the Consortium des Jardins-Mérici for the continuation of the sound level management plan in the area surrounding the Anse au Foulon sector. In 2022, we responded to 101 reports from citizens related to noise, traffic and light pollution.
Throughout the year, we facilitated dialogue with the community through the launch of a citizen participation platform to collect ideas related to port projects that affect residents. We also organized neighbourhood round tables to hold discussions with citizens in three sectors near the port and carry out, with the relevant stakeholders, a participatory workshop on plans for the woodlot in Beauport.
To keep citizens informed about our activities, we launched our first-ever newsletter, which was sent out three times in 2022, in October, November, and December. We also sent weekly the Avis d’Opération newsletter to a list of recipients affected by noise pollution in the Anse au Foulon sector and continued work to improve stakeholder management with the implementation of the Boréalis management tool.
We set out to meet citizens and their families with the organization of candle-making workshops in schools and a distribution of ice sticks at the Oasis. In doing so, we gathered suggestions from visitors on how to improve the site. We also helped run the Port’s stand at the family-friendly Maritime Festival to spread the word about our citizen consultation platform.
A leader in its sector of activity, the Port of Québec works in collaboration with numerous organizations, both in the province of Québec and internationally. Examples include the Québec and Canadian governments, the municipalities of Québec City and Lévis, chambers of commerce, the Société de développement économique du Saint-Laurent [St. Lawrence Economic Development Council], Green Marine, the Worldwide Network of Port Cities (AIVP), and several others.
In 2022, we had the privilege of receiving a delegation from AIVP and HAROPA-PORT, including Mr. Édouard Philippe, former Prime Minister of France, mayor of Le Havre and president of AIVP. While in Québec City, they visited our port facilities and were most impressed by the quality of our community sites, including Beauport Bay, the Port of Québec Oasis, the Agora, and Anse Brown.
As tradition would have it, the beginning of 2022 was marked by the presentation of the prestigious Canne à pommeau d’or award to the captain of the first oceanic vessel from a foreign port to moor at the Port of Québec. This prestigious award was presented to Captain Kandangama Deniyegedara of the ship Federal Hunter. Arriving from Russia, the vessel operated by Fednav arrived at Wharf 17 on January 2, 2022, at 3:30 pm. It docked at the Sollio Agriculture terminal to unload a cargo of agricultural fertilizers.
For a second year, we presented a digital version of our historic rally. In total, 608 people participated in the activity in 2022. The rally is part of our program to promote the port’s historical heritage. The activity is carried out in collaboration with the Musée naval de Québec and the Huron-Wendat Nation. For this 6th edition, the QPA relied on support from generous sponsors, namely, Tourisme Wendake, the Musée de la civilisation, Excursions Maritimes Québec, and Strøm Spa Nordique.
In September, the Port of Québec, in collaboration with the port and maritime community, organized a large-scale family celebration where the entire community was invited to discover the goods that transit through the port and their usefulness in daily life. The event, which took place on our docks in the Pointe-à-Carcy sector, brought together hundreds of participants. In a festive atmosphere, inflatable bouncy structures, face-painting, a bistro-lounge, free hot dogs, a storyteller, and a historical figure were all on site, in addition to activities offered by the port’s numerous partners and operators.
Throughout the year, we continued our community involvement by supporting more than 100 causes and organizations, including the Canadian Cancer Society, Odyssée camps, the Fondation du Musée de la civilisation, Laura Lémerveil, and Patro Laval.
In December, we carried out our Christmas campaign with the Reno-Jouets Foundation. A major toy collection campaign was organized among our employees. A dozen employees generously volunteered to help the organization, which restores toys received to donate to children in need.
We also participated in the extensive fundraising campaign run by the organization Centraide Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches. Thanks to the valuable participation of our employees, we raised more than $20,000 to fight poverty and social exclusion.
In addition to these commitments, we contributed to making numerous activities a success, including the Carnaval de Québec, the Défi kayak Desgagnés, the Canot de Glace expérience, and many others. Through its support, the Port of Québec aims to contribute to making our region stand out in Québec and on the international stage for its bustling and active community.