Days before the September 4 provincial election, the left-wing Québec Solidaire party denounced billions in public subsidies under the Plan Nord for uranium mining, and suggested all Quebecers should be inspired by the solid Cree opposition to uranium mines in Eeyou Istchee.
The party’s candidate for the Montreal riding of Rosemont, François Saillant, suggested the next Quebec government should heed the Cree demand for a moratorium on uranium mining throughout the province.
“Quebec should stand up like the James Bay Crees and refuse the exploitation of uranium in its territory. We do not want to be stuck with radioactive waste for many millennia,” said Saillant.
The Québec Solidaire declaration targeted $2.5 billion in public subsidies for a railway to Kuujjuaq and the $288 million budgeted to prolong Highway 167 to the uranium-rich Otish Mountains region of Eeyou Istchee, to be partially funded by Quebecers’ pension savings held by the Caisse de depot et placement.
Mercier MNA Amir Khadir blasted Premier Jean Charest for hiding the uranium-mining component of his ambitious Plan Nord.
“When Jean Charest speaks to us about the Plan Nord, he quickly has the words gold, iron and diamonds in his mouth, but we rarely hear him speak about uranium,” noted Khadir. “It’s strange he never says that the ‘project of a generation’ and our own public funds will serve to supply one of the most dangerous energy sources in the world. As with the asbestos file, Mr. Charest appears to concentrate first on the money and worries very little about the health of our people.”
Québec Solidaire is firmly opposed to both the production of asbestos and uranium, having presented a motion to the National Assembly in 2010 to forbid the mining both in