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Press Release

$4.6 MILLION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN THE TERRITORY OF PLAN NORD

Québec, May 1, 2012 – The Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Pierre Arcand, today announced a trio of measures designed to strengthen environmental protection and monitoring in the territory of Plan Nord.

“Plan Nord will become an international reference in sustainable development. We have committed to protect 50% of this territory, a total of some 600 000 km2. Beyond this ambitious conservation commitment, respect for the environment and the laws and regulations will be a priority in 100% of the territory. With new resources, an advanced mobile laboratory and a centre for northern and mining expertise, our monitoring and environmental control will be even more rigorous and effective”, declared the Minister.

New resources assigned to the territory of Plan Nord
In total, 38 additional people, 19 of whom will hold new positions, will be assigned to activities concerning the territory of Plan Nord. With these additions, the Ministère’s presence in the north will be significantly strengthened, notably for environmental monitoring and handling authorization requests.

Thanks to these new resources, more staff can be assigned to conservation activities, to improving our environmental and biological knowledge about the territory, to project analysis and authorization, and to environmental control interventions. A new position will also be created to provide advisory support to aboriginal communities, a service requested by the Cree communities including Waswanipi, Mistissini and Oujé‑Bougoumou.

An advanced mobile laboratory for environmental emergencies
For swift and effective intervention in the event of environmental emergency, an advanced mobile laboratory will be created that can get to places inaccessible by road. Nearly $1 million will go to the purchase of stand-alone portable equipment that can be transported easily by helicopter. With the new laboratory, the Ministère’s teams will be able to sample for contaminants in the air, water and soil, and obtain results in real time. In all, thirty testing devices will be devoted specially to problem analysis and environmental emergencies in Québec’s north.

A regional centre for northern and mining expertise
The Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) intends to develop an expertise specific to the realities of the north and the mining sector. To that end, a centre for northern and mining expertise will be created at the Direction régionale de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue et du Nord-du-Québec. The Ministère’s interventions in this area will thus be coordinated in the most effective way possible.

A new regional office at Chapais
On April 29 the Minister also announced the creation of a regional office of the Ministère at Chapais. The regional office will be attached to the Direction régionale de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue et du Nord-du-Québec, which is destined to become the centre for northern and mining expertise.

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Sources:

Sarah Shirley
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Sustainable
Development, Environment and Parks
Tel.: 418-521-3911

 

Information:

Relations médias
Ministère du Développement durable,
de l'Environnement et des Parcs
Tel.: 418-521-3991

 

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