Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Fitzgibbon worried about the judicialization of the Northvolt project | The battery sector

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Northvolt temporarily stopped construction work on its plant on Friday while the Superior Court rules on a request for an injunction.

The Canadian Press

The Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy of Quebec, Pierre Fitzgibbon, says he is concerned about the message that the judicialization of the Northvolt case sends to foreign investors. But his federal counterpart, François-Philippe Champagne, sees things differently.

During an interview on the microphone of the host of radio Paul Arcand Monday morning, Minister Fitzgibbon indicated that he was absolutely worried about the outpouring of hostility towards the proposed battery factory for electric vehicles in Montérégie.

Be careful. My fear is that we are affecting Quebec's credibility and let's say that people are clearly questioning themselves and asking themselves: "Are we welcome in Quebec?" ;.

The minister specified that he had to be careful when answering the questions of the host of 98.5, recalling that #x27;there is an injunction that will be heard tomorrow.

Northvolt temporarily stopped construction work on its factory on Friday while the Superior Court rules on a request for an injunction.

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The Quebec Environmental Law Center and three citizens demanded that the work be stopped. They argue that the multinational's land is a habitat for many threatened or vulnerable animal species and they ask that the project be submitted to the Bureau d'public hearings on the environment (BAPE).

A judge will hear the arguments of the different parties Tuesday morning in Montreal. Until then, work is on pause on the Northvolt site in McMasterville and Saint-Basile-le-Grand.

The federal minister of Innovation, Science and Industry does not have the same reading of the situation as its provincial counterpart.

According to François-Philippe Champagne, who spoke to the media Monday morning, the judicialization of the Northvolt case does not dampen the interest of foreign investors.

I would even tell you the opposite, I have more and more calls from people who want to come and stay with us, because we have the workforce and strong ecosystems, indicated Minister Champagne.

Northvolt knows what it is getting into and they are big boys, added the minister.

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The federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, believes, unlike his Quebec counterpart, that the judicialization of the Northvolt case does not dampen the interest of foreign investors.

Still commenting on the opposition movement to the project, François-Philippe Champagne added that in a society like ours, people can express their opinion, but he asks citizens to look at the final objective which is to transform Quebec industry towards a greener industry, which will be environmentally conscious and which will enter the 21st century economy.

You can't get more environmentally conscious than Swedes, we chose them. This is what people at home need to understand. We didn't take just anyone, we chose a Swedish company which is concerned about the environment, which is also concerned about working with communities, argued Minister Champagne. p>

Part of the Northvolt battery cell factory megaproject, that which concerns recycling activities, will have to be evaluated by the Office of Public Hearings on the environment (BAPE).

Several environmental groups and citizens, however, are demanding that the entire project be subject to a BAPE .

Questioned on this subject by Paul Arcand on Monday morning, Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon indicated that there was no need to do a BAPE because the rules do not require it.

He added that the project will however have to respect environmental standards imposed by the Ministry of the Environment.

A regulation was modified last February by Quebec to allow the Northvolt project to escape a BAPE examination, according to information first relayed by Radio-Canada.

The production capacity of the factory would be 56,000 metric tons, while the Regulations relating to the assessment and review of impacts on #x27;environment of certain projects have been modified to avoid a BAPE assessment for battery factories that produce 60,000 metric tons or less.

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