Four Quebec-based projects funded by the Environmental Damages Fund

Backgrounder

The $6.83-million penalty directed from Bloom Lake General Partner Limited was the largest imposed for an environmental infraction in Canada. To date, $1.74 million of the award has been invested in research and development projects through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s memorandum of understanding with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The remaining $5.09 million will be invested in four application-based funding projects.

1. Kativik Regional Government ($1.45 million)

The Kativik Regional Government was created in 1978, pursuant to the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, to deliver public services to residents of Nunavik.

The project aims to

  • Create an inventory of the outfitting camps (156) located in the Nunavik sector of the Caniapiscau River watershed as well as assess the status (active or abandoned) and condition of these camps.
  • Clean up and restore those camps deemed as harmful to the environment andwildlife, with a focus on supporting shoreline restoration, as well as rendering the sites safe for human use (i.e., Inuit traditional fishing and hunting activities).

2. Water First ($500,000)

Water First is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to addressing water challenges in Indigenous communities through training, education, and meaningful collaboration. Water First specifically focuses on environmental water challenges and drinking water challenges, while working with thousands of students, each year, in schools and First Nations communities in Ontario and Quebec.

The project aims to

  • Increase and stabilize fish populations located in waterways in the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach traditional territories by conducting spawning habitat restoration projects addressing habitat fragmentation.
  • Deliver an adaptable and scalable community education program on fish stewardship to five Indigenous communities across northern Quebec and Labrador.

3. Institut national de la recherche scientifique – Centre Eau Terre Environnement ($1.54 million)

The Institut national de la recherche scientifique is a graduate university composed of four research and teaching centres located in different cities (Montréal, Laval, Varennes, and Québec). The institute plays a key role in the advancement of scientific knowledge and the training of a highly qualified succession, in strategic sectors of research, both in Quebec and in the rest of the world. The institute’s Water, Soil and Environment Centre is firmly focused on sustainable development in Quebec, particularly in the areas of water and land resources and the protection of the environment.

This project aims to

  • Study the consequences of mining development in the Caniapiscau River watershed on fish health.
  • Improve the success of fish passage in culverts.
  • Seek to create and maintain cooperation between project stakeholders and local communities through the participation of these stakeholders in the project and annual meetings in local communities.

4. Institut de développement durable des Premières Nations du Québec et du Labrador ($1.6 million)

The Institut de développement durable des Premières Nations du Québec et du Labrador was created in 2000 by the chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador. Its mission is to offer First Nations a dynamic service hub, supporting their actions toward maintaining healthy territories and resources, developing sustainable communities, and promoting the recognition of their rights.

This project aims to

  • Work with First Nations to build local awareness, understanding, and capacity to address the environmental impacts of hazardous mining sites on both human health and the environment.
  • Support the creation of community inventories to identify and categorize hazardous mining material around abandoned mining areas within the Lake Bloom area and restore those posing an imminent threat to the environment.

The Environmental Damages Fund

The Environmental Damages Fund is a Government of Canada funding program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. Built on the premise that environmental good must follow environmental harm, the Environmental Damages Fund provides an effective way of responding to environmental damage by directing funds received from fines, court orders, and voluntary payments from environmental violations, to carry out projects that benefit our natural environment.

The Fund supports innovative projects that restore the environment, improve environmental quality, involve research and development, and increase public awareness.

The Environmental Damages Fund follows the “polluter pays” principle, which helps ensure polluters take responsibility for their actions.

An interactive map was created to provide further information on projects, both ongoing and completed, funded by the Environmental Damages Fund.

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