Lake protection: Green Party calls for changes to end neglect

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Quebec Green Party leader Alex Tyrrell was in the Argentueil riding on Monday to speak about the state of Quebec's lakes. In Quebec, we have world-class freshwater reservoirs that feed our lakes, rivers and streams. However, neglect of our waterways has gone on far too long. Biodiversity levels are declining, pollution from human activities is on the rise, and if major action isn't taken now, the health of our lakes, rivers and streams will be sacrificed. We need to protect them now, because we can't go back when it's too late.

Accompanied by Luis Alvarez, Green Party candidate in the Argenteuil riding, Alex Tyrrell spoke about the party's commitment to taking concrete action to protect the province's lakes. Quebec's lakes face many challenges, including septic systems, agricultural installations and invasive plants. At present, there is no national strategy to deal with these issues, and no set standards or limits for discharges into natural waterways. Not to mention the fact that the Ministry of the Environment does not fund intervention plans, and is not there when citizens want to take matters into their own hands and get involved themselves to protect their lake. "This is a problem that can't go on. Every year, we move forward without adequate regulations and without the means to protect our lakes. Every year is a lost year. We need to take action now!"

To protect the province's waterways, the Parti Vert du Québec proposes to massively reduce pollution from animal husbandry near waterways via strict regulations that will limit farming operations near water, ban pesticides and herbicides that pollute water bodies, and strengthen agricultural inspections and give teeth to the regulations while guiding farmers towards practices that are less harmful to water bodies. The PVQ will also set up a major fund to control harmful invasive species, and will mandate the Ministry of the Environment, in collaboration with watershed organizations, to draw up action plans and carry out interventions to combat invasive species that reduce the biodiversity of water bodies. The Parti Vert du Québec also pledges to fund reforestation of lake and river banks more adequately, to work with and support NPOs and lake associations to protect the territory, and to prohibit the drying and destruction of lakes for mining and construction projects.

"The Green Party of Quebec is proposing to spend a minimum of $500 billion in its first mandate on the energy transition and the environment. Currently, the budget of the Ministry of the Environment is about 1.5% of the total Quebec budget. That's not enough to protect the environment, it's not enough to deal with climate change, and it's certainly not enough to take care of our lakes! It's precisely for this reason that the state of Quebec's lakes is worsening every year."

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