(Montreal) Québec solidaire (QS) and the Parti québécois (PQ) denounce the government’s intention to pay to relocate 200 households located near the Horne Foundry, in Rouyn-Noranda, information reported in La Presse Wednesday morning.
QS Environmental Manager Alejandra Zaga Mendez said, “Asking 200 families to pack their boxes to accommodate a multi-billion dollar company that refuses to meet our environmental standards is appalling!” »
She added, in a statement, “that the people of Rouyn-Noranda have never asked to be uprooted from their homes.”
In a press briefing on Tuesday morning, PQ MP Joël Arseneau for his part indicated “that we should see with the population what they think of it, we imagine the uprooting, what it can create as trauma in people”.
“The other big problem”, according to Joël Arseneau, “is that we want to do it with a contribution of 85 million from the Government of Quebec, to a company which will, this year, or in 2022, have net profits around US$18 billion.
Interim Liberal Leader Marc Tanguay believes that offshoring “cannot be a solution for the whole population”.
However, he argued, “it’s a tricky file, but I think for some it can be a solution.”
An agreement with the government, which was signed with the Liberal government in 2017, allows the smelter’s arsenic emissions to reach an annual average of 100 ng/m3, or 33 times more than the standard.
But this agreement is about to end. The Government of Quebec also issued a new certificate to the controversial foundry last January and Quebec will unveil the new ministerial authorization for the Horne Foundry on Thursday.
Public Health and the Ministry of the Environment have asked the Horne Smelter to reach an arsenic emission threshold of 15 nanograms per cubic meter (ng/m3) in 2027, this is what could appear in the new certificate.
“We are aiming, in five years, for 15 nanograms, five times more, I find that it does not hold up. Either the standard of three nanograms is not good then it should be 15, but we cannot have the ambition to be… to exceed five times the standard in five years”, indicated the liberal Marc Tanguay in point Press.
Last week, the Horne Smelter released a document in which it says the concentration of arsenic it emitted into the air in 2022 was 73 nanograms (ng) per cubic meter, lower than in 2021, but more than in 2020.
In a document published on its site, Glencore Canada, owner of the smelter, indicates that for the past year, “the annual average in arsenic at the legal station” of the Horne Smelter in Rouyn-Noranda “is 73.1 ng /m3, confirming that our reduction projects are working.”