Saint-Eustache, September 25 – Greatly anticipated by the region's farming community, the BAPE report Ce lien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre, tabled on Friday September 22, is welcomed by the Fédération de l'UPA Outaouais-Laurentides. The Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement has recommended that the project should not be authorized, a major victory for the protection of the region's natural environments and farmland.
Last June, the Basses-Laurentides UPA union and the Fédération de l'UPA Outaouais-Laurentides presented a joint brief Ce lien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre outlining the harmful effects such a project could have on soil protection, biodiversity, and the health of surrounding natural environments. Burying hazardous industrial waste in a wetland would only increase environmental risk factors. The redevelopment project would have put agricultural producers, citizens, and our future at risk for the benefit of a private company.
« This is a great victory for environmental protection today. I must salute the mobilization of the Laurentian community, citizens, and agricultural producers alike, in its fight against this project from another century," says Audrey Lemaire, President of the Basses-Laurentides UPA union.
The report echoes the concerns of most stakeholders, including those of the Fédération, about the harmful impacts such a project could have on the neighborhood and the environment. As an organization dedicated to sustainable agriculture, we welcome the recommendation and now encourage the Quebec government to take note of the report and not authorize the project.
« Quebec's arable agricultural zone covers 2% of the territory. We need to protect what's left to ensure our food sovereignty. Today's decision is a step in that direction, by protecting our wetlands and water tables, which are essential to agriculture," says Stéphane Alary, President of the Fédération de l'UPA Outaouais-Laurentides.