Quebec Calls for Social and Environmental Review of Uranium Mining - Canadian Boreal Initiative Welcomes Marois Government Announcement

QUEBEC CITY, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) applauds Quebec's decision to hold a province-wide analysis and consultation on the economic, social and environmental impacts of uranium mining before proceeding with any permitting of uranium mining in the province.

"Recent polling has clearly shown that while there is not yet clear consensus on the desirability of uranium mining in Quebec," said Suzann Méthot, CBI's Regional Director in Quebec. "There is consensus on the need for an independent review and public consultation on the environmental and social impacts of uranium mining before any such activities are permitted in the province. We applaud the government of Québec for announcing today that it will take the steps necessary to ensure that that is exactly what will happen."

"It is also clear that Quebecers feel strongly that the rights of mining companies should not supersede those of individuals or communities, including aboriginal communities, and that these communities should have the right to say no to uranium mining. It is critical that the government respect the rights of these communities as it proceeds with its consultation process," Ms. Méthot concluded.


Background

Last year, after two years of public hearings, the James Bay Cree Nation enacted a permanent moratorium on uranium exploration, mining, milling and waste emplacement on their territory on the east shore of James Bay (Eeyou Istchee). Despite this moratorium, federal regulators, including the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, authorized the Matoush uranium project to proceed within this Cree territory. However, before this project can proceed, provincial authorization is also required.

Polling conducted by Léger Marketing for the Canadian Boreal Initiative (link: http://www.borealcanada.ca/pr/03-05-2013-f.php) showed that 55% of residents in the area of the proposed Matoush mine and 38% Quebec-wide oppose uranium mining, and 35% locally and in Quebec support it.  86% of residents in the area of the proposed Matoush mine and 76 of Quebeckers feel that the Quebec government should conduct an independent review of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of uranium mining before Quebec moves forward with authorizing any uranium projects.

About the Canadian Boreal Initiative
The Canadian Boreal Initiative brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for Boreal Forest conservation and acts as a catalyst for on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal Forest by governments, industry, Aboriginal communities, conservation groups, major retailers, financial institutions, and scientists.

SOURCE: Canadian Boreal Initiative

For further information:

Suzann Méthot, Directrice régionale - Québec - IBC  (514) 792-1843 / smethot@borealcanada.ca

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Canadian Boreal Initiative

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