Grenville-sur-la Rouge Council would like the Quebec government to be more flexible on how it develops land use policies involving mining activity.

On September 13, council approved a resolution calling on the government to give municipalities – and regional municipalities – the flexibility to respond to concerns from citizens during the process of ensuring there is social acceptability and compatibility between mining activity and other land uses. The resolution also requests that the compatibility of mining activity be better considered in comparison to the reality of each local environment and its biodiversity.

The territoires incompatibles avec l’activité minière (TIAM) process is used by the Québec government to determine which lands are unsuitable for mining development. The issue is of particular concern in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, due continued objections to a proposed graphite mine and marble quarry at a site near chemin Scotch. According to the resolution adopted by Grenville-sur-la-Rouge council, the Municipalité régionale de comte (MRC) d’Argenteuil first completed the TIAM process in 2017 and concluded with 80 per cent of the regional government’s territory being suspended from mining development.

In 2021, the MRC d’Argenteuil held two consultation forums, with the objective of questioning the criteria established for the TIAM process. The report from those forums, prepared by consultants hired by the MRC, indicated the criteria do not adequately consider local biodiversity and wetlands, and that the TIAM process does not adequately include citizen concerns. In January 2021, the provincial government delivered a notice of non-compliance to Grenville-sur-la-Rouge over a draft municipal regulation, because it was considered to not adhere to the TIAM guidelines.

Meanwhile, S.O.S. Grenville-sur-la-Rouge – a citizen’s group opposing mining development – is pleased council and the regional government is exerting pressure on the Québec government to be more flexible.

“At least it’s a start,” said S.O.S. Grenville-sur-la-Rouge spokesman Gilles Levert.

He said the TIAM process was done without sufficient regard for municipalities and conflicting land uses between mining and other private properties, including residential areas.