Quebec's stimulus bill passed into law despite environmental concerns

By CBC News, December 11, 2020

It took two attempts, but in the end the Coalition Avenir Québec government got it what it wanted, with the National Assembly passing the controversial Bill 66 into law Thursday evening.

The new law will help fast-track 180 infrastructure projects in an attempt to stimulate an economy that is reeling from the effects of COVID-19. 

(...)There are still concerns about the law's potential effect on the environment, as two of the three opposition parties voted against the bill.

In a statement, the PQ claimed "the government insists on pitting environment against economic recovery", a sentiment shared by Québec Solidaire.

"In the end, we still find [within the bill] attacks against environmental processes, and that, for Québec Solidaire, is unacceptable," said MNA Vincent Marissal.

Liberal MNA Gaétan Barrette disagreed, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has created an exceptional set of challenges that call for exceptional solutions.

"Economic recovery happens in part through infrastructures," Barrette said. "It seems acceptable to us to deviate from the strict rules that we know, particularly in terms of the environment."

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