(Quebec) After denying journalists access to public consultations on mining activity, the Legault government finally supported a motion on Thursday asking that their presence be allowed.

The motion which “reminds that journalists’ access to government-led public consultations should not be impeded” was introduced by Liberal MP Michelle Setlakwe.

In short, it asks to “allow the presence of journalists during the public consultation on the harmonious development of mining activity held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests”.

The 111 elected officials present at the Blue Room voted in favor of the motion, including the member for Rimouski and Minister of Natural Resources and Forests at the heart of the dispute, Maïté Blanchette Vézina.

His vote drew cheers and jeers from across the House; the minister responded by sitting back down with a smile and a wink.

Consultations on the development of mining activity are moving to ten regions of Quebec, virtually, until May 19, in the context of the number of mining claims exploding in Quebec.

To deny access to journalists, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests on Tuesday invoked the need to ensure participants confidentiality and promote free expression.

The Professional Federation of Quebec Journalists rose up, pointing out that the boom in mining claims worried citizens and municipalities, and that journalists should be able to inform the population.

Currently, several cities are calling for a moratorium on mining claims and changes to the law. Mining claims allow a company to have the exclusive right to explore the ground.