Noting unequal access to the province’s large green spaces, Quebec Solidere wants to draw inspiration from Scandinavian countries and pledge to uphold the “right to nature,” by making national parks free and implementing new public transportation to get there. the most disadvantaged communities.
“The observation we make is that not everyone has equal access to nature, as he confirms in an interview with duty Parliamentary leader and spokesperson, Gabriel Nadeau Dubois. There is a deficit less talked about in Quebec, and that is the impotence of nature. »
The left-wing political party will announce new commitments Monday in Abetepe, which consists of a three-part plan totaling $100 million a year. “We have a very beautiful area, but there are a lot of people in Quebec who can’t take advantage of it because they live in an urban environment, or because they find it difficult to move around or because the equipment is too expensive,” notes Gabriel Nadeau Dubois. “There are people who spend their whole lives without being in contact with the nature of Quebec,” he adds.
With nearly 80% of Quebecers living in urban areas, the supportive government will establish public transportation routes, particularly near Parc-Extension or Montreal-Nord, and especially disadvantaged neighborhoods, to the national parks. “For example, from Montmorency station in Laval, you should be able to get to Mont-Tremblant Park at a reduced rate. From Longueuil-Université-de-Sherbrooke station, you should be able to get to Mont-Orford Park,” the spokesperson explains. The cost of implementing this measure is two million dollars.
Québec Solidaire is also committed to making free admission to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, as well as unmanned campgrounds and access to water bodies for non-motorized boats. “Bodies of water are public in Quebec, and it shouldn’t cost money to take advantage of them,” says Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. The political party estimates the measure at $70 million, to offset the loss of income incurred by the Société des Institutions de plein air du Québec (SEPAQ).
“The idea of a right to nature exists elsewhere in the world, it is officially recognized in most Scandinavian countries, and we are inspired by it,” he says, adding that some countries are going further than their own plan.
But making green spaces more accessible, and convincing people unfamiliar with nature to go there is another thing. “The challenge is enormous, as Gabriel Nadeau Dubois admits. There are already community organizations working to bridge this gap and provide access to Quebec nature for young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods.” “We will have to rely on education and community work,” he says.
The political party is also committed to ensuring that Quebecers can borrow outdoor gear, such as camping gear, snowshoes, or skis, for free from the province’s 800 public libraries. These are local institutions that people know about. “In a context where more and more people are going digital, we have to make these places relevant,” says Gabriel Nadeau Dubois.
We are committed to achieving the target of 30% of protected areas in Quebec by 2030 and adding 1.5% of new protected areas each year
Thus, $4.5 million will finance the purchase of the equipment, and “we trust the people” to keep the equipment in good shape, the company spokesperson adds. “Library experience shows us that it is possible to do this and that people are able to empower themselves. He also believes that we are seeing more and more initiatives like this.
Twenty million dollars will eventually be invested by a government supporting the expansion of the SEPAQ network. “We are committed to achieving the target of 30% of protected areas in Quebec by 2030 and adding 1.5% of new protected areas each year,” says Gabriel Nadeau Dubois.
According to an update of the Register of Protected Areas dated December 31, 2021, 16.70% of the continental environment is currently protected. “At the moment there is a political impasse,” the spokeswoman said. He believes the Quebec Department of Forests, Wildlife and Parks should be broken up, as it “systematically prevents the creation of protected areas” due to the “exaggerated influence of the forest industry”.