QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 9, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Nature Québec is appealing to Canadians and individuals worldwide to take a stand against the Quebec government and TransCanada Corporation in an effort to prevent them from perpetrating a crime against biodiversity by building an oil terminal in the heart of an endangered species' breeding and nursing grounds. Today, Nature Québec is launching the English version of its petition, www.saveourbelugas.com
The white beluga of the St. Lawrence River has been designated an endangered species and is supposed to be protected under Quebec and Canadian environmental laws; its numbers have nonetheless dwindled to less than 900 individuals, whereas the population was over 10,000 less than 75 years ago.
"Exploratory drilling to build an oil terminal in Cacouna, 200 km east of Quebec City, is set to resume October 16. The area is a breeding and nursing ground for belugas. The drilling and then the construction of the terminal threatens the very survival of the species," according to Christian Simard, Executive Director of Nature Québec.
Launched 12 days ago the French petition of www.saveourbelugas.com has already registered more than 25,000 signatures. More than 5,000 people have sent a letter to Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, asking him to respect the laws of his own government and put a definitive end to the drilling and prohibit the construction of an oil terminal in the heart of the natural sanctuary for belugas at Cacouna, Québec.
This petition calls for a definite halt to the ill-conceived project of drilling in the nursery of the belugas at Cacouna. Nature Québec is urging Québec Premier Philippe Couillard not to act in haste, but instead to seek the opinion of scientists who have been studying the belugas of the St Lawrence for decades, while respecting the spirit and the letter of the provincial and federal laws designed to protect threatened species.
Nature Québec believes that building an oil terminal will be harmful to the environment and the fight against climate change, no matter where it is located. Furthermore, to build this terminal at Cacouna, the sanctuary of the threatened belugas of the Saint Lawrence River, is a crime against bio diversity and a violation of our obligation to protect endangered species.
Nature Québec urgently calls on all organizations and individuals who care about biodiversity to come to the aid of the belugas of the St Lawrence by signing and publicizing the petition www.saveourbelugas.com.
Nature Québec is an environmental organization, which has been working in Quebec and Canada for 30 years. Nature Québec supports the goals of the World Conservation Strategy of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), of which it is a member.
SOURCE: Nature Québec
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