CUPE calls for full drinking water protection in the Gaspésie Peninsula

CUPE calls for full drinking water protection in the Gaspésie Peninsula translation by Amie du Richelieu of Le SCFP réclame la pleine protection de l’eau potable en Gaspésie  by, February 26 2014
The most important Quebec municipal employees union is worried about the risks to drinking water in the Gaspésie Peninsula. After the February 10 Quebec Superior Court ruling on the case between the town of Gaspé and Petrolia, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) calls for the intervention of the Marois government. The CUPE says the will of the Town of Gaspé and it’s citizens of not permitting oil drilling in its territory must be heard. “There is doubt about the regulatory capacity of the Town of Gaspé to protect its drinking water sources against hydrocarbon exploitation. We now then say it is up to Quebec. It is urgent that the Marois government assumes its responsibilities and protects the Gaspésie Peninsula as well as the rest of Quebec. All municipalities must be protected from drinking water pollution, without exceptions”, insists Patrick Gloutney, president of the provincial council of the municipal branch of the CUPE.

The CUPE supports the recommendations and the demands of the Eau Secours! Coalition in this file. It confirms that Quebec must focus on energy efficiency and focus its intelligence and expertise to insure a greater role to renewable sources of energy, while reducing progressively its dependency on hydrocarbons. The CUPE and the Coalition also asks for the adoption of a law and regulations along with human and financial resources necessary to ensure an effective and efficient protection of water everywhere in Quebec. “We warmly support the municipalities and the citizens that join their forces to protect water quality around them. The government must recognize the will of the elected officials of Gaspé and insure the protection of the resource and the environment of its citizens”, says Yanick Proulx, union consultant at the CUPE and president of the regional council of the FTQ (federation of Quebec workers) Bas-Saint-Laurent-Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Counting more than 111,000 members in Quebec, the CUPE represents about 70% of the municipal employees in Quebec numbering about 30,000 members. The CUPE is the most active in these sectors: social affairs, communications, education, energy, Crown corporations and public groups, air and urban travel, joint sectors and universities.  [Emphasis added]

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