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This week, we are taking a closer look into environmental law. There are a lot of debates going on around the world regarding climate change and how States should react to it. In Quebec, there has been a lot of debates and concerns especially around pipelines projects and hydrocarbons.
This feature offers a closer look on Quebec Environmental Law Center, a Montreal-based organization that has been very active regarding these issues recently.
Progressive Lawyer: Please Introduce Yourself and describe your role in the Quebec Environmental Law Center.
Karine Péloffy: My name is Karine Péloffy, I am a lawyer and the Executive Director of the Quebec Environmental Law Center (“CQDE”).
PL: Why was the Center created? What issues does it confront?
KP: The Center was founded in 1989 by Me Michel Bélanger and other lawyers who were among the first people in Quebec to be interested in protecting the environment from a legal point of view. The CQDE was founded to promote the use of the law as an essential tool to protect the interests of citizens, nature and the environment.
Historically, the Center has been active on several major environmental issues such as mining as far back as 1991 and again in 2013, the attempt to privatise Mont Orford national park in 2010, blue-green algae, the anti-SLAPP law, the Suroît thermal plant, and shale gas exploitation. We also discuss major themes such as the conservation of natural habitats, protection of water and the fight against climate change.
The Center tries to act in real time on rising environmental issues. For example, for the summer of 2014 we went to court repeatedly to protect the beluga whales with an injunction against preliminary drilling by TransCanada which intended to establish an oil port in their critical habitat.
Lately, the organization has been working primarily on the exploitation and transport of fossil fuels and the protection of endangered species. Continue reading “The Progressive Lawyer Spotlight is on the Quebec Environmental Law Center”