Nicolas Mainville – Photo Credit: Daniel Migneault
The night of the Plan Nord consultation in Montreal, many citizens left feeling their concerns had been ignored. One of the first to speak was Nicolas Mainville, Forest Campaigner for Greenpeace Canada who’s question caused an uproar among the ministers.
Mainville had asked if the ministers could reassure the public seeing as how the road construction, and the building of mines and dams that the Plan Nord would entail has a strong connection to the construction sector, already the target of suspected criminal ties.
He was interrupted by Joseph Zayed who refused to address the question. Once the question was redirected to Arcand he fed him some talking points; he spoke of how stopping criminals is their goal and how the premier will make the decision he sees appropriate in that respect. They then thanked him and called a ten minute break to further avoid the question.
I went to speak to him during that break in the hopes that his concerns, his voice would be heard somewhere.
“No, I think what is most apparent in the document we were presented today is that we want to make the international community believe that we will become a leader in sustainable development, when we are literally lying, we are going to permit industrial exploitation in protected areas, in conservation zones. It’s a step back for Quebec, and as long as Quebecers are aware of this Plan Nord, it’s a plan of acceleration and industrial exploitation with a nice green veneer, that, unfortunately once you scratch the surface a little, we realize that it’s just nonsense.”
“You had also asked a question about the construction industry that I too was wondering about but they (the ministers) refused to answer, any comments?”
“Well, Greenpeace considers that this government has no legitimacy in launching this vast industrial development project when we are just beginning to see the connections between the construction industry, this government, the accusations of corruption and collusion. This development plan needs to be put on stand-by, on pause, until we can shed light on this question.”
“Is there anything else you would like to add?”
“Well, I’m anxious for us to make an exciting project for Quebecers. I’m tired of us being proposed false solutions and these projects that present themselves as sustainable development but then we realize that the real intentions is to do the same thing as in the 1960’s. We want to throw ourselves into these big development projects without even having the slightest intention of really applying what we have understood since the mistakes of the ‘60’s. But we did learn how to add a nice veneer, and you know at one point you can’t take Quebecers for dupes. You have to stop pushing for the same … business as usual.” (laughs)