The other day, while I was walking along the river on the Jacques-Cartier promenade in the Cap-Rouge sector, I had a sort of revelation. Seeing the number of people who took advantage of the last warm rays of autumn to stroll along the banks of the river, I told myself that a project like Laurentia, this mega project of a techno-industrial park that the government of the CAQ wishes to see the light of day by the river, would never pass the bar of social acceptability here.
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It should be noted that the promenade is located in the riding of Geneviève Guilbault, the minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale, who this week praised the economic virtues of Laurentia, this port expansion project which, according to her, would be so ambitious and good for our economy.
Access to the river
I am convinced of it, the citizens of Ms. Guilbault’s riding are not interested in our coming and destroying their river landscape, their banks, their territory, by ceding them to foreign industrial interests, including the profits will go to tax havens for the next 60 years.
For people who live in the city center, and more particularly in the Limoilou and Beauport sectors, the Baie de Beauport is the equivalent of the Jacques-Cartier promenade in Cap-Rouge, or the Samuel-de-Champlain promenade. , which is part of its continuity. For them, this access to the river represents what they hold most precious, most sacred.
What the people of the Capitale-Nationale really want is not an ugly, concrete riverside: they want to be able to swim in the Baie de Beauport, practice dinghy sailing, stand-up boarding or kayaking. . They want phase 4 of the Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain to finally come to fruition and link the banks of Cap-Rouge to Montmorency. They want more green spaces and biodiversity. This is what my fellow citizens want for their city of tomorrow.
In Limoilou, a Citizen’s Table has been created. This offers an alternative for the East Coast at the antipodes of the vision proposed by the Port, the City of Quebec and the CAQ. The Advocacy for an ecological, social and economic East Coast carries this hope of seeing our city transform into something beautiful.
In this manifesto, it is about shared governance, mixed use, varied housing, biodiversity, links between humans and nature. As an elected official, I feel concerned and challenged by this vision of the world that the people who elected us are proposing. I find it inspiring, invigorating.
I invite the Minister of the Capitale-Nationale to allow herself to be imbued with this vision, and to make it her own, as if it were her neighborhood, her access to the river.
It is becoming more and more heartbreaking to see the CAQ wade through troubled waters to save the Titanic-Laurentia from sinking.
The CAQ’s contempt for environmental assessment processes is increasingly embarrassing: when the Minister of the Environment himself asks Canada to override the environmental assessment to speed up the construction of a mega techno-industrial park on the banks of the river, I tell myself that protecting the environment is this government’s last concern. But when I see the tremendous mobilization of citizens to reclaim their banks, to reconnect with the enormous potential of our river, I tell myself that there is hope.
Member of Parliament for Québec solidaire
Responsible for the environment file