Noting that there is unequal access to large green spaces in the province, Québec solidaire wants to draw inspiration from Scandinavian countries and pledges to establish a “right to nature”, by creating national parks which is free and implementation of new public transport circuits to get there from the poorest communities.
“The observation we make is that not everyone has equal access to nature, underlined in an interview with The duty parliamentary leader and speaker, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. There is a deficit that is not much talked about in Quebec, and that is the deficit in nature. »
The leftist political party will announce new pledges on Monday in Abitibi, which consists of a three-part plan totaling $ 100 million per year. “We have very good territory, but there are so many people in Quebec who can’t take advantage of it because they live in an urban environment, because they have difficulty getting around or because the equipment is too expensive,” Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said. “There are people who spend their whole lives without interacting with the nature of Quebec,” he added.
With approximately 80% of Quebec’s population living in urban areas, a supportive government will establish public transportation routes, particularly near Parc-Extension or Montreal-Nord, particularly in poor neighborhoods. , towards national parks. “For example, from the Montmorency terminus in Laval, you should get to Mont-Tremblant Park at a low price. From Longueuil – Université-de-Sherbrooke station, you should get to Mont-Orford Park, ”the spokesperson explained. Implementing this measure would cost $ 2 million.
Québec solidaire also promises to make free access to national parks and wildlife reserves, as well as unserved campgrounds and access to water bodies for non -motorized boats. “Water forms are public in Quebec, it doesn’t have to spend money to take advantage of them,” Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said. The political party estimates this measure at 70 million dollars, to compensate for the loss of revenue of the Société des establishments de plein air du Québec (SEPAQ).
“This idea of the right to nature exists elsewhere in the world, it is officially recognized in most Scandinavian countries, and we are inspired by it”, he said, adding that some countries are more than their own plan.
But one thing is to make green spaces more accessible, and another to convince people unfamiliar with nature to go there. “It’s a huge challenge,” Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois admits. There are already community organizations trying to bridge this gap and provide access to Quebec’s nature to young people from poor neighborhoods. ”“ We need to focus on education and community work, ”he said.
The political party is also committed to ensuring that Quebecers can borrow outdoor equipment, such as camping equipment, snowshoes or skis, free of charge from the province’s 800 public libraries. “These are local institutions that people know. And in a context where more and more are becoming digital, we need to keep these areas relevant, ”Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said.
We are committed to reaching the goal of 30% protected areas in Quebec by 2030 and adding 1.5% of new protected areas each year
So, $ 4.5 million will be spent on purchasing the equipment, and the spokesperson added that “we trust the people” to keep the equipment in good condition. “The experience of libraries shows us that it is possible to do this and people have the ability to strengthen themselves. We are also seeing more and more similar initiatives,” he thinks.
Twenty million dollars will eventually be invested by a supportive government to expand the SEPAQ network. “We are committed to reaching the goal of 30% protected areas in Quebec by 2030 and on adding 1.5% new protected areas each year,” Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said.
According to the update of the Register of Protected Areas dated December 31, 2021, 16.70% of the continental environment is currently protected. “Right now there is a political deadlock,” the spokesman said. He thinks the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks of Quebec should be divided, because “it systematically blocks the creation of protected areas” due to the “exaggerated influence of the forest industry”.