PARTI VERT DU QUÉBEC PRESENTING A GREENER VISION WITH A FOCUS ON WATER PROTECTION
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by Cori Marshall
The Parti vert du Québec (PVQ) is one of the 22 political parties authorized to run candidates in the 2018 general election. Like other green parties in Canada, and globally, their philosophy is rooted in "greener-politics". The party adheres to the Global Greens Principles and is founded on the six main principles found within; ecological wisdom, social justice, participative democracy, nonviolence, sustainable development, and respect for diversity.
At the time of the dissolution of the Assemblée Nationale at the start of the campaign the PVQ held no seats, and to date has never had a Member of the National Assembly (MNA) represent their party. In fact, Québec125.com does not represent the PVQ on any of its infographics and is not projected to win any ridings. The party is presenting 77 candidates in the current campaign.
WaterToday had the chance to speak with Alex Tyrell, Leader of the PVQ, about their vision for the future of Québec's water and environment.
"We run on an environmental platform," Tyrell said, "the protection of water is one of the most important issues for the [PVQ] today."
The PVQ wants "to make sure that we reduce the amount of effluents from agriculture that are contributing to many problems in lakes and rivers in Québec," Tyrell said. He added that the party "wants to see a larger priority placed on conservation, because [projects] are being developed without any concrete conservation plan."
Alex Tyrell, Leader of the Parti vert du Québec
On the subject of treating wastewater and stormwater the PVQ has "proposed a really big plan for dealing with wastewater in Québec," Tyrell said. Part of the plan would be to separate waste and stormwater, for example in Montréal where the two are not separated.
Tyrell underlined that in Québec "currently we are consuming fossil fuels to burn what is left after the treatment process, where other cities like Washington, D.C. are doing bio-methanation and are getting bio-gas out of the wastewater to create electricity."
The PVQ is proposing "to have this technology installed in as many cities as possible." The hope in doing this is to "stop dumping untreated wastewater into waterways," Tyrell said. "There are still about 100 municipalities that do it on a daily basis, and others in case of severe storms."
Getting this type of technology installed in municipalities in Québec is important for the PVQ as it plays a role in energy transition. "With the biogas that we can obtain from the wastewater treatment facilities we can power trucks and road transportation for heavy vehicles which are difficult to electrify," Tyrell said.
To improve on past efforts to protect the environment and fight climate change, the PVQ is "proposing a $200 per ton carbon tax." The tax measure is "unique" to the PVQ, and Tyrell underlined that "no other party is willing to talk about raising the price of carbon." He added that "it is very important to do so in Québec, we have never consumed more gasoline than we did in 2017, 10 billion litres."
"At the same time as we are breaking records for fossil fuel consumption, two thirds of the new vehicles being sold are trucks and SUVs (sport utility vehicles), and there is a trend to larger and larger cars as well. It is important to apply economic policy that is designed to reduce emissions."
The $200 per ton carbon tax would be increased by $40 annually per ton. Also, the PVQ wants to "increase the price of gas by $0.40, but it's absolutely important to do so," Tyrell said. The tax measures would not be applied universally, "there is also a compensation for people who live in the regions, they will be given an exemption for people who have reduced capacity to reduce their emissions."
Alex Tyrell, Leader of the Parti vert du Québec
Tyrell explained that the PVQ "wants to get rid of fossil fuels in heating applications, replacing it with electricity generated by solar and wind energy, we also want to deploy geothermal wherever possible."
When it comes down to how much this will cost Québec taxpayers, Tyrell said "in terms of the taxation policy, the carbon tax, all of the revenue would be reinvested directly in public transport." He added that "it is also very important to reduce the number of vehicles on the road so we are also in support of free public transit, so people will pay a little bit more for gas, but they will have other options available."
Being that the PVQ is eco-socialist, they "want to see a larger expansion in spending on the environment, also in healthcare and education," Tyrell said. To fund the increased investments in these areas, the PVQ would "increase taxes on the richest people in our society, those making over $100 thousand per year, big business, multinationals, and mining companies who need to start contributing their fair share to the collective.
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