The governments of Canada and Quebec are determined to protect the St. Lawrence River through joint scientific research, conservation, restoration, and collaborative projects, with the support of their partners. From a desire to continue this collaboration, which has existed for more than thirty years, the governments have jointly committed to making the St. Lawrence a healthy and sustainable environment for future generations.
Today, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and Quebec’s Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region, Benoit Charette, announced that the governments of Canada and Quebec will invest $39 million and $25 million respectively over five years for the conservation and enhancement of the St. Lawrence River. These investments are part of the new 2021-2026 program under the Canada-Quebec Agreement on the St. Lawrence, also referred to as the St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011-2026.
The new program consists of thirty-two joint projects that will enable the governments of Canada and Quebec to continue their concerted efforts in three main areas: ensuring the continued use of the St. Lawrence, contributing to protecting its biodiversity, and improving the quality of its water. Activities to monitor the state of the St. Lawrence and support community-based initiatives will also continue.
The collaboration of a number of departments of the governments of Canada and Quebec will also make it possible to pool the scientific knowledge and expertise of both governments to ensure that concerted action is taken for the health and future of the St. Lawrence.
“The St. Lawrence is at the heart of the social, economic, and cultural life of Quebecers and Canadians. To combat the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, we must invest in programs like the St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011-2026 to protect this precious ecosystem. By encouraging science and sustainable development, collaborating with our partners, and supporting community-based initiatives, we are continuing our efforts to ensure that the St. Lawrence remains healthy, now and for future generations.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“The St. Lawrence is one of the jewels of our natural heritage, and we must take the best possible care of it. Quebecers are counting on their elected officials, on scientists, and on all water users to ensure its protection and sustainability. Moreover, it is an essential tool for our economy. That is why the collaboration established by the Canada-Quebec Agreement on the St. Lawrence is critical. The St. Lawrence Action Plan 2021-2026 is an excellent tool for collaboration and mobilization. It will enable us to implement joint conservation and enhancement initiatives for the St. Lawrence. This will help us better fulfill our role as water stewards.”
– Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism, and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region
“I commend this desire to carry out joint projects with the support of our partners. Respect for coastal ecosystems and populations is at the heart of Avantage Saint-Laurent, Quebec’s new maritime vision. With this vision, we want to take the right steps to propel the marine sector while protecting the St. Lawrence, the littoral zone and marine biodiversity. Stakeholders in the research, innovation, and environmental communities are being called upon to play a key role in making Avantage Saint-Laurent a reality. We must learn how to take advantage of the river’s riches, with intelligence and precaution, to ensure its sustainability.”
– Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region
Ten Government of Canada departments and agencies and nine Government of Quebec departments and agencies will jointly allocate $64 million over the next five years to carry out the measures set out in the St. Lawrence Action Plan.
The activities of the State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program will continue. The implementation of this program will make it possible to monitor the state of the St. Lawrence’s health by promoting increased knowledge of changes in the state of its waters and ecosystems, particularly in the context of climate change.
The St. Lawrence Action Plan will also continue to support the participation of coastal communities through the Community Interaction Program, which supports community projects aimed at conserving and improving the St. Lawrence ecosystem. Under the new St. Lawrence Action Plan programming, this program has been renewed with a budget of $4.36 million for the 2021-2026 period.