On March 28th, Québec Environment minister
Yves-François Blanchet announced that the Bureau
d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) will
hold public hearings on the uranium sector in Québec. These
hearings are scheduled for the Fall of 2013 and will focus on the
environmental and social impacts of exploration and mining of
uranium in Québec. The Minister also indicated that no
authorization certificates for uranium exploration or mining
projects in Québec will be issued until the BAPE's
independent study is completed and its report is issued.
The Minister stressed the importance for the Government to
respect the principles relating to the protection of the social
environment and the protection of Aboriginal peoples, their
societies, their communities and their economy. Aboriginal
organizations will therefore be invited to play a significant role
in the consultation. The Minister indicated that the BAPE's
study will be conducted in collaboration with the review committees
and advisory committees provided for in the James Bay and Northern
Québec Agreement, the Northeastern Québec Agreement
and the Environment Quality Act.
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