The port of Quebec swallowed millions in Laurentia

According to data obtained by citizens under the Access to Information Act, which was submitted to and then certified by Radio Canada, the vast majority of the amounts invested by the Port of Quebec were used to conduct studies, analyzes and develop mitigation measures.

Of the total calculated expenditures of $13.8 million, $11.1 million was allocated to this documentation work, between 2015 and May 2021. The studies contain thousands of pages of analyzes and scholarly work, notably commissioned by Englobe’s own company, and all studies have been submitted. Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (AEIC).

Major Expenditures (2015-2021)

  • Studies, Analyzes, and Measures (AEIC) : 111,17868 dollars
  • Pressure : 712,493 dollars
  • media strategy : 463,707 dollars
  • Press Articles (Informational Advertisements) : 446,920 dollars

Source : Quebec Port Authority

This same agency, despite all the data and actions presented, published an unfavorable opinion about the container terminal project, which assumed the construction of a 610-meter berth line in Beauport Bay.

Two weeks later, the federal government announced that it would no longer provide its support, signaling the end of Project Laurentia. The frightening adverse effects on human health, the environment and air quality were among the major pitfalls.

Model of the Laurentia robotic station.

The Laurentia Container Terminal, which took over from the Beauport 2020 project, was unveiled in the summer of 2019 by the Port of Quebec (archives).

Photo: the port of Quebec

Manna by Don Crossel

Laurentia Container Terminal Project General Manager, Don Krusel, earned about $700,000 in fees, between summer 2018 and May 2021, at an estimated annual salary of $230,000. His appointment was announced on August 27, 2018.

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The Executive Director From the Port Authority of Quebec (APQ), Mario Gerard introduced Mr. Krusel as A major figure in the marine world of North America They saw this as an important leadership addition to Laurentia’s credibility.

Significant amounts were also allocated to lobbying activities aimed at persuading the two levels of government to support the $775 million project. If the Port of Quebec can get $500 million in private financing, it would need $180 million in public funds to complete the financial package.

L ‘APQ In 2020 and 2021, more than half of the total amount was invested in the final evaluation stages of the project.

The data in the document sent to Radio Canada did not include employee salariesAPQ who worked at Beauport 2020, initially the liquid bulk terminal project, then Laurentia.

Invoice of costs related to expansion projects inAPQ Therefore it was underestimated in this analysis.

Sample Beauport 2020

Prior to Laurentia, APQ submitted Project Beauport 2020, a $190 million pooled terminal (archive).

Photo: Radio Canada

David vs. Goliath

For citizen Véronique Lalande and founder of the Porte de Québec vigil initiative, these numbers illustrate how unevenly opponents of the port’s expansion projects have been.

It is clear that we do not have the same financial means. […] The disparity in capacity is enormous. It’s almost a miracle that we were able to stick to the end for CNSA to do its work., replied on Thursday.

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Ms. Laland asserts that if it was only visible in public space, it would have been impossible to compete with the promotional campaigns ofAPQ, in both traditional media and mass communication strategies.

Hundreds of protesters in Saint-Roch's church square.view larger image (A new window)

Many citizens have participated in blocking the way to the Laurentia project in recent years, and in particular in recent months (archive).

Photo: Radio Canada/David Remillard

Regardless of the numbers, she remembers that many citizens kept the castle on a voluntary basis, with their time and money, while the Port of Quebec could count on the dedicated staff in its development. These people work full time and have an infrastructure.

It’s stressful. It raises questions about the burden we place on citizens.

Quote from:Veronique Lalande

Véronique Lalande finally rebelled against the fact thatAPQ, which operates facilities on federal and therefore public lands, is not afraid to invest huge sums of money despite the lack of consensus among the population.

In particular, she argues for mechanisms that would limit the money that can be spent in the course of appraisals such as those just completed at Laurentia. As a public body that reports to the federal government, Ms. Lalande would like more restraint.

Along the same lines, opponents believe that the port’s president, Mario Girard, will eventually be accountable to the port’s board of directors.APQ.

no public money

L ‘APQ For his part, he rejects the thesis that the money invested will ultimately do nothing.

Frédéric Lagacé, Deputy Director of Public Affairs and Strategic Content forAPQ, indicates that all documents submitted to regional or federal administrations remain useful and contributed to enhance knowledge On the St. Lawrence River and its environment.

of the money invested in Laurentia as part of the environmental assessment process,APQ It notes that it has not been eligible for public funding since 1999 under Canada’s Maritime Act.

It states that Canadian port authorities must necessarily finance its operations entirely from the income that comes from its activities.

To be clear, this means that there are no public funds to cover the operating costs that Laurentia’s costs are included in.Mr. Lagacé insists.

The funds allocated to Laurentia did not prevent the Port of Quebec from achieving a record year of investments in 2020, and from continuing to improve its infrastructure in 2021.

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