November 25, 2017

Canada’s Northern Quebec being opened up to mining

Northern Quebec - a land of opportunity if you are a mining company. For the first peoples and the wildlife things don't look quite so fantastic.

The government of Quebec has unveiled a plan to develop the largely untouched and wild north of the province.

The so called “Plan Nord” aims to take 1.2 million sq km of land and get stuck into forestry, renewable energy and mining – lots of mining.

The plan is trumpeting itself as green because Premier Jean Charest says that half the land area will be environmentally protected.

What he is saying is that we will leave half the land roughly as it was and wreck the rest.

“It is one of the world’s last virgin territories,” said Premier Charest. Newswarped is a little unsure why then Charest feels the need to take its virginity away in a brutal attack of economic and environmental rape.

“It’s also a fragile territory and a territory of great richness and it’s also a responsibility.” By richness he means dollars.

The area is rich in deposits of nickel, cobalt, platinum, zinc, iron ore and rare earth minerals.

“Northern Quebec has incomparable mining potential,” said natural resources minister Sege Simard.

The plan includes 11 new mining projects, the development of renewable energy resources (mainly hydro-electric projects), sustainable forestry and a huge infrastructure programme.

This part of Canada is so remote that new roads, airports, and even a deep sea port will have to built to get the raw materials out to sell them to the outside world.

The government of Quebec said that everyone in the province would benefit.

“Plan Nord will create or consolidate 20,000 jobs a year, on average, and generate C$14bn in revenue for the government and Quebec society,” said Mr Charest.

Arcelor Mittal, Xstrata, Tata Steel and Barrick Gold are some of the companies who are already active there. It sounds like a regular raw materials feeding frenzy.

But wait in all this economic exploitation excitement there is something we are missing here. Oh yeah thats right. Some people already live there.

The government says that is ok because Plan Nord will mean better jobs, housing and education for the local Inuit people.

The old colonial mantra of “they will be better off with our version of civilization” is alive and well.

Announcing the plan, Mr Charest said it was hoped that the project would be “one of the most environmentally sustainable projects for the world”.

At this point in the story newswarped had to pause to spew up. So let me get this straight. The Quebec government is going allow the land to be mined for whatever it has got that is worth extracting. The forests are getting milled. The waterways are getting polluted. Somehow all this adds up to “one of the most environmentally sustainable projects for the world”.

I wasn’t much chop at maths at school but even I know something doesn’t add up here.

Comments

  1. northern quebec is beautifull as it is. your mines will destroy the land. if you decide to do this i WILL put together a huge protest and not allow it.