Members of the National Assembly unanimously passed Bill 102, an omnibus environment bill, on April 5.
Called an “Act mainly to reinforce the enforcement of environmental and dam safety legislation, to ensure the responsible management of pesticides, and to implement certain measures of the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy concerning zero-emission vehicles,” the bill is designed to ensure compliance with existing environmental protection and dam safety laws.
It introduces measures to modernize the Pesticides Act, including amendments to the regulation of the possession of pesticides and pesticide-coated seeds. The measures are intended to encourage the adoption of best practices in both urban and agricultural settings, and to respond to recommendations from the Commission on Agriculture, Fisheries, Energy and Natural Resources (CAPERN), and to concerns voiced by the general public.
The Act also impacts the Mining Act by introducing a new authorization to be obtained prior to carrying out impact mining exploration work, requiring that local and Aboriginal communities be consulted beforehand.
The bill includes a ban on the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles after 2035, and a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
According to Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change Benoit Charette, the bill is an important step that allows the government to increase its protection of the environment, while giving itself an additional basis for fighting climate change. “I am proud of the adoption of this first environmental omnibus bill, which has allowed us to give more weight to environmental control and the fight against climate change,” said Charette in a press release. “After dozens of hours of work in committee, we have reached an important milestone in environmental law.”
The bill was introduced in the National Assembly on October 5 last year and is the first omnibus bill in the history of the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change. (SR)