Clearly, Canadian citizens are concerned and involved in environmental issues. At the same time there is a growing consensus that the environment has, for many reasons, been moved to the back burner by government and industry.
Perhaps it has gone too far when, contrary to TQM's own stated policy, TQM's head environmental consultant admits his employer's preference for cutting forest land to avoid paying compensation for a year's crop loss on neighboring cultivated fields.
There's a touch of Alice in Wonderland when in the same newspaper article ( "Gas pipeline to cut through Townships to US", Sherbrooke Record, February 1997) the consultant, Urgel Delisle of Urgel Delisle et Associes, justifies his firm's rejection of the route overwhelmingly preferred both by local landowners and residents, and concerned municipal, MRC, and provincial politicians. He claims that following the autoroute locally would have a greater environmental impact, and uses the clearing of forest land beside the highway as an example of this.
Mr. Delisle cannot have it both ways and in the face of such contradictory and self-serving claims about environmental impact one is left wondering about the reliability of the information being used to direct this project.
Is the environmental assessment of this project little more than a justification for a convenient, low-cost route?