Quebec cement industry urges government to ensure new plant adheres to regulations

Quebec cement industry urges government to ensure new plant adheres to regulations
Published: 12 March 2014

Drawing attention to potential risks to the lobster fishery industry in Gaspesie, the Cement Association of Canada (CAC) today urged the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Gail Shea, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, and the Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, to ensure that the proposed project for a new cement plant in Port-Daniel-Gascons, Quebec not be allowed to bypass any applicable federal processes and regulations.

In a statement the CAC stated that, according to media reports, the proposed project includes the construction of a marine terminal in an area that is known to support a commercial lobster fishery.
"We urge the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Minister of Transport to make sure that all appropriate actions are taken to protect the lobster fishery industry and the navigation in the area", said Michael MCSweeney, President and CEO of the CAC said in the statement. "We also call on the Minister of the Environment to ensure that a proper process will be undertaken to assess whether the project should be subject to a federal environmental assessment."

"This is an issue of responsibility and fair play for our Quebec members, who are extremely committed to sustainable manufacturing and who pride themselves on meeting and exceeding the environmental requirements established at the federal and provincial levels", continued Mr. MCSweeney.

Since the Government of Quebec announced on January 31 its decision to invest nearly half a billion dollars in a new cement plant in Port-Daniel-Gascons, the CAC has repeatedly expressed extreme concern that the massive investment of public funds unlevels the playing field for Quebec cement manufacturers from a financial  perspective and – should the new plant be exempt from the usual analysis and comprehensive process of consultation with environmental matters (BAPE) –  from an environmental perspective. "The investment of public funds in the proposed project, which has been seen by many as being politically motivated, also takes place at a time when Quebec's cement producers have been running at just 60 per cent of their annual production capacity for several years, a situation which is expected to continue into the next decade," the CAC said in its statement.