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Where do the parties stand on the environment?

Quebecers, before you go to the polls, make sure that you know where the parties stand on the environment. To help you, we surveyed and analyzed the platforms of six of the political parties: the Parti Québécois, Québec solidaire, the Québec Liberal Party, Option nationale, the Green Party of Quebec, and the Coalition Avenir Québec. Here is a synopsis of the results.

Where all the parties agree: climate change

  • The Liberal government already has the most ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction target in North America – 20% below 1990 levels by 2020
  • Québec solidaire advocates reduction targets of 40% by 2020 and 95% by 2050 as compared to 1990
  • The other parties propose a reduction target of 25% below 1990 levels by 2020

But plans for achieving these reductions vary.

Transport is responsible for 43% of greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec, but only two of the parties have attached numbers to their plans to reduce emissions from this sector:

  • Québec solidaire is the only party to propose a serious investment in public transit – $12 billion over the next five years
  • The Parti Québécois proposes reducing our dependence on oil by 30% by 2020 and by 60% by 2030, ambitious targets that would be achieved, in part, via electrification of the transportation system.

Electrification of the transportation system is another point of agreement between all the parties. 

But the Green Party of Quebec also proposes halving public transit fares, a bold measure that has proven effective elsewhere.

The parties have also made promises about sustainable agriculture:

  • Coalition Avenir Québec proposes the labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms
  • The Québec Liberal Party, the Green Party of Quebec, Québec solidaire and the Parti Québécois all propose more support for organic agriculture.
  • All the parties are in favour of supporting buying local, but the Parti Québécois stands out with its plan to increase the percentage of Quebec-grown foods in our shopping carts from 33% to 50%.

Where all parties fall short: pesticides, tar sands pipeline projects

  • While other provinces like Ontario are tightening pesticides regulations, the Liberal Party of Quebec is the only party in this campaign to promise to reduce cosmetic and agricultural pesticides.
  • The lack of concrete commitment from any of the parties regarding the tar sands is of particular concern at a time when the Trailbreaker Project threatens to bring tar sands crude through Quebec, threatening our farmland, air quality, and efforts to reduce oil dependency.

Equiterre is a non-partisan nonprofit. Our public interventions are funded primarily by our members.