Monday, December 2, 2002
No more small power stations: One more win by citizens
Premier Landry put an end, last Tuesday, to the program of power production with small private power stations, on public sites.
Of the 36 projects announced with great ceremony last year, only 3 survived. Like the SOS-Leamy Coalition, it is a win by citizens, without any support by politicians. Rescission of the small power stations program is very much the product of Eau Secours and Adopt a River Coalitions. The outstanding contributions to the well-organized mass of citizens made by about 70 artists, including Paul Piché and Roy Dupuis, by generously supporting rivers, must be outlined. Together, they all succeeded in convincing the Government that preservation of our rivers is much more profitable when used for recreational purposes (beaches, canoe, kayak, etc.) than to the benefit of small enterprises. Quebec’s wilderness offers much to outdoor enthusiasts and green tourists, while contributing to everyone’s quality of life. Power supply requires new sources, as the wind and the sun. With a modicum of political will and by redirecting its practices, Hydro-Quebec could count on these alternate power sources.
Finally, Mikaël Rioux’s struggle, in Trois-Pistoles, cannot be ignored. He is hanging night and day over the waterfall where the small power station is supposed to be built. Premier Landry mentioned that this controversial project has a good chance of never seeing the light of day.
After having camped near this magnificent waterfall last July, I assure that Mr. Rioux’s demands are absolutely legitimate. This young man has a courage which is lacking to his provincial deputy, some character called Mario Dumont, who always hided behind the developer’s certificate of authorization to avoid involvement in this file.