On Earth Day, Greenpeace joined 250,000 Quebecers in Montreal to demand the provincial government listen to the people, favouring the environment and communities over rapid resource extraction and unsustainable development.
Check out these photos from the day, and watch Greenpeace forest campaigner Nicolas Mainville address the crowd (translation follows).
We've entered a new era, an era of solidarity for the defense of the common good.
It's important to be here today, because our democracy is too often ignored. Our governments are complicit with big industry, polluting our earth with no regard for the common good. In a democracy, governments must listen.
Jean Charest is asking students to pay more, but he is spending millions of dollars to open the North to exploitation by multinationals.
Mr Charest, Northern Quebec is not an open buffet! How can we justify an industrial orgy in the one of the few pristine ecosystems in the world, when only 8% of the province's wilderness is protected?
How can we justify these projects when scandals of corruption and collusion with construction companies plague our government?
Do you have confidence in Jean Charest to manage the resources and fragile ecosystems of the North?
Greenpeace stands with you and the thousands of others in Quebec demanding a stop to Plan Nord until we're guaranteed the protection of our pristine ecosystems and respect is given for the rights of First Nations!
Only then can we decide, together, if we are to develop the North – how, when, by whom and for whom.
To the rest of the world: (English) For those of you who are wondering what is happening in this country, please know that Quebec’s people do not support Stephen Harper’s attacks on climate and his VERY tight relationship with Big oil. Please know also that we do not support Jean Charest’s Plan Nord to spoil the last wild places in Quebec with reckless aggressive industrial development. We are committed to protect our last intact forests.
Our future is our own to decide. Today we are 250,000. Mr. Charest, it's time to listen!