ID No.: GQM00256
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CNW, Code 1 + Fax list + Regional weeklies

PRESS RELEASE 1

Report of the Commission sur la gestion de l’eau au Québec

WATER: A RESOURCE TO BE PROTECTED,
SHARED AND ENHANCED

Québec City, May 3, 2000 – At the request of the Minister of the Environment, Paul Bégin, the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) today released the report of the Commission sur la gestion de l’eau au Québec, entitled L’eau, ressource à protéger, à partager et à mettre en valeur.

Headed by Chair André Beauchamp and Vice-Chairs Gisèle Gallichan and Camille Genest, both commissioners and permanent members of the BAPE, the Commission considers that the results of its hearings into water management in Québec are relatively clear. "The current approach to water and aquatic ecosystem management is sector-based, poorly integrated and not concerned enough with protecting the resource. The shift must be made to integrated management practices that are more harmonized at the government level, balance protection and enhancement objectives, and are purposely implemented at the river basin level."

To achieve this, the Commission recommends the appointment of a minister of state for water resources and aquatic ecosystems, the implementation of integrated management through river basins, the creation of basin committees overseen by a coordinating body (Bassin Versant Québec), and the creation of a board responsible for water resources and aquatic ecosystems.

The Commission also calls for the adoption of framework legislation on water and aquatic ecosystems to replace the Watercourses Act. The new legislation should clarify the legal status of surface and groundwater, and provide Québec with the legal and institutional instruments required to devise an integrated water policy.

"At a time when water is increasingly becoming a global issue of critical importance, Québec society as a whole benefits from this debate on the issues at stake in terms of water management, the required policy directions and the actions to be taken," said Mr. Beauchamp.

The report is available on the Internet at www.bape.gouv.qc.ca/eau. Copies may also be ordered by e-mail at eau@bape.gouv.qc.ca, or by calling (418) 643-7447 or, toll-free, 1-800-463-4732.

In addition, a CD-ROM containing the full report, transcripts of the public hearings, some of the briefs and documents tabled as well as other information has been produced with a view to consolidating all the documentation gathered by the Commission during the public consultation process and making it accessible to the public at large.

Individuals or organizations interested in obtaining a copy of the CD-ROM La consultation publique sur la gestion de l’eau au Québec are invited to contact the BAPE at the above e-mail address or telephone numbers.

– 30 –

SOURCE:

Serge Labrecque, Information Officer
Telephone: (418) 643-7447 or 1-800-463-4732
E-mail: eau@bape.gouv.qc.ca

 

Ó Gouvernement du Québec 2000