July 5, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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According to NDP | The St. Lawrence River must acquire legal personality status

According to NDP |  The St. Lawrence River must acquire legal personality status

(Ottawa) Should the federal government grant legal personality status over the St. Lawrence River and allow it to grant the inherent rights of flora and fauna protection based on it?

Joel-Denis BellavensJoel-Denis Bellavens

The New Democratic Party (NDP) believes such action is necessary. The political structure led by Jagmeet Singh was inspired by the case of the Magpie River on the north bank, to start a discussion on the future of the river.

A recent petition by the International Observatory for Rights in support of this policy collected 1,400 signatures not only from Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, but also from France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden. .

NDP MP Alexander Bouleris said in a letter to Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson that the St. Lawrence River should benefit from additional protection in projects that are growing industrial.

Mr Bowleris specifically referred to the expansion project of the Port of Montreal at Contrecoure, the expansion of Quebec Port with the Laurentia project, the LNG-Quebec project in Sagune Fjord and the oil exploration work. In the Gulf of Saint. Lawrence Magdalene is far from the islands.

There has also been a request to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (AEIC) to assess a portion of the St. Lawrence River area in Quebec. According to Mr Bowleris, the Minister of Environment should go further by directing the AEIC to conduct a comprehensive study on the health status of the river and its tributaries.

If the Trudeau government is serious about being brave, it should think about giving the river legal status.

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“The St. Lawrence River is an ecological, historical and cultural gem of our country. It is one of the most important waterways to Western civilization and many aboriginal nations in North America,” NDP Deputy Leader Wilkinson wrote in a letter.

Take the example on the Magpie River

“The Magpie River case is a case study, and we need to be inspired by it if we are to be truly serious in our efforts to fight not only the flora and fauna of the St. Lawrence River, but also to fight it.

In February, the Maple River, considered a world-famous destination for whitewater rafting, became the first river in Canada to receive legal status. Elsewhere in the world, similar measures have been taken in countries such as New Zealand, India and Ecuador.

The Magpie River was given this status after the Inno Council of Mingani Regional County Municipality and Inukitshit passed resolutions to this effect, which have the effect of giving “nine legal rights” including the sink, protecting its natural biodiversity and taking legal action.

The resolutions state that the river may be represented by a regional municipality and still appointed “custodians” who have the duty to “act on behalf of the rights and interests of the river and to ensure the protection of its rights.” ”.

Certainly, this status provides protection against future threats such as hydropower development.

With the Canadian Press