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Opponents of Quebec battery plant hold 'funeral march' for wetlands


Are Northvolt battery plant opponents already sounding the death knell for the wetlands that the plant project is set to destroy? Probably not. But the "funeral march" organized at 1 p.m. on Sunday in McMasterville may reflect the level of concern among environmental campaigners.

A coalition comprising the Comité Action Citoyenne - Projet Northvolt, Urgence climatique Montérégie and the Conseil central de la Montérégie-CSN, among others, is calling on citizens to join them in the McMasterville station area to demand a full study by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE).

"A project on the scale of Northvolt, however much it is linked to the energy transition, cannot do without a proper assessment," said Annette Herbeuval of the Conseil central de la Montérégie-CSN in the coalition's news release. "By allowing Northvolt to avoid the BAPE, the Legault government is demonstrating its indifference to the consequences of the project on the people and their environment."

In addition to the destruction of wetlands and important natural habitats, opponents fear that the changes to the BAPE regulations from which the Northvolt project benefited will set a precedent and open the door to the implementation of more large-scale industrial projects, without them being subjected to all the necessary environmental assessments.

The demonstration comes two days after Northvolt announced that it wanted to create a "community liaison committee."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 4, 2024. Top Stories

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