Canada releases its final decision on Laurentia Project: Port of Quebec Deep-Water Wharf – Beauport Sector

From: Impact Assessment Agency of Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to developing Canada’s marine transportation sector and creating good middle-class jobs, while recognizing that a strong economy and a clean environment must go hand in hand.

Following a thorough and rigorous environmental assessment, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada’s (the Agency’s) Environmental Assessment Report concluded that the Laurentia Project: Port of Quebec Deep-Water Wharf – Beauport Sector was likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects to fish and fish habitat, air quality and human health, socio-economic conditions, and the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposed by Indigenous peoples.

Based on these findings and pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, had referred the project to the Governor in Council to determine if these significant adverse environmental effects were justified in the circumstances. After careful deliberation and review of available and relevant information, the Governor in Council determined the potential significant direct and cumulative adverse environmental effects of the Laurentia Project are not justified in the circumstances.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change issued a Decision Statement to this effect under CEAA 2012.

Since this decision applies to the Laurentia Project, it does not prevent the Quebec Port Authority from submitting new project proposals and does not preclude potential development. Potential future proposals would be assessed in accordance with the Impact Assessment Act, which came into force in August 2019. The Government of Canada will continue to support Port Authorities and the maritime sector right across the country to generate growth and create jobs in a sustainable way.

The Government of Canada would like to thank all participants for their invaluable comments received throughout the environmental assessment process, as well as all the robust scientific advice received from various experts. This information allowed the Agency to complete a rigorous Environmental Assessment Report, and it is with this information in hand that the Governor in Council was well-positioned to make an informed decision.

Quotes

“The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada led an exhaustive environmental assessment that highlighted the possibility for significant adverse environmental effects on a number of components associated with the project, many of which would be irreversible. The Government of Canada must make decisions based on the best available scientific evidence while balancing economic and environmental considerations. This was a difficult decision – but the right one as we look to grow the economy and protect the environment for future generations.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • The project, proposed by the Quebec Port Authority, is an extension to an existing wharf in order to operate a deep-water terminal dedicated to containerized general cargo in the Port of Quebec. The project also includes the construction of a new berth and a retaining dike that would allow for the development of an additional 17 hectares of backshore space, along with the construction of rail lines and various road accesses.

  • The project, proposed by the Quebec Port Authority, is an extension to an existing wharf in order to operate a deep-water terminal dedicated to containerized general cargo in the Port of Quebec. The project also includes the construction of a new berth and a retaining dike that would allow for the development of an additional 17 hectares of backshore space, along with the construction of rail lines and various road accesses.

  • Consultations with Indigenous groups and communities throughout the environmental assessment were extensive, with seven groups participating in the process, and funding of over $220,000 provided to support their participation in the various steps of the review.

  • The Agency conducted a rigorous and science-based federal environmental assessment. Experts from more than 15 federal and provincial departments participated in the process by providing advice and technical expertise throughout the project’s review.

  • Departments and agencies that provided this thorough advice are Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Transport Canada, Parks Canada, Health Canada, the Laurentian Pilotage Authority, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Government of Quebec’s Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques.

  • Views of the public and of potentially affected communities were collected and taken into account. The Agency conducted extensive public consultations throughout the environmental assessment and provided four formal opportunities for public comments and input. Over 800 comments were received from individuals and groups, and this valuable input was carefully reviewed, considered, documented and taken into account in the development of the Environmental Assessment Report.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization/author(s)and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.