ROBERVAL, QC – Denis Lebel, Conservative candidate for Lac-Saint-Jean, spent the better part of yesterday lecturing the Mayor of Montreal on the city’s sewage dumping plan. That is a bit rich given the Conservatives’ own record on the issue of waste water treatment.
Liberal candidate for Lac-Saint-Jean, Sabin Simard, responded to the news:
“Instead of going around Quebec and meddling in other municipalities’ affairs, maybe Mr. Lebel should spend a little more time in his own region, where municipal sewage treatment facilities are seriously lacking. No less than 13 Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean municipalities, including 5 in Mr. Lebel’s own riding, do not have a sewage treatment plant, and dump all their used water into Saint-Jean Lake, the Saguenay River, and their tributaries (Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, L’Anse-Saint-Jean, Tadoussac, Saint-Charles-de-Bourget, Saint-Fulgence, Labrecque, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, Saint-André-du-Lac-Saint-Jean, Saint-Edmond-les-Plaines, Saint-Eugène-d’Argentenay, Saint-Ludger-de-Milot, Sainte-Monique-de-Honfleur, and Saint-Thomas-Didyme).
“Those municipalities aren’t to blame. They all want to do better, but they don’t have the financial resources to do so. For as long as Mr. Lebel has been an MP, the Quebec government has had a program to assist small municipalities in building sewage treatment plants. Until recently, the program covered up to 85 percent of the cost of such plants, yet many municipalities just didn’t have the resources to pay their share, including some of the 13 municipalities in Mr. Lebel’s own backyard. What did he do to help them bridge that gap? Nothing. Since Mr. Lebel came into office eight years ago, none of those municipalities have received federal funding to assist them in building used water treatment plants. Meanwhile, raw sewage has kept flowing into some of our most majestic waters, while the Harper Conservatives and Mr. Lebel stood idly by.
“So allow me to find it a little hypocritical on Mr. Lebel’s part to act so concerned about Montreal’s plan. Where was he for all those years when regional leadership was required here in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean?
“After ten years of neglect under Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, it’s time that we get serious about our infrastructure and our environment. The Liberal Party of Canada will be a reliable partner for cities and municipalities across Quebec and Canada. We will invest $5 billion over four years in green infrastructure, including used water treatment plants.
“On October 19, it is time to bring real change to Ottawa.”