Quebec’s opposition parties are joining forces to push the government to act on climate change. They want concrete solutions immediately, but not everyone agrees what the solutions are. One example is electric vehicles.
This supposedly green option is being put under scrutiny at the National Assembly following the story that Quebec City MNA Catherine Dorion bought a gas-powered vehicle after being elected.
Dorion has been making headlines for days. Her party, Quebec Solidaire (QS), campaigned on the idea of banning conventional vehicles in favour of the electric car.
But is the electric vehicle actually a cleaner form of transportation? This is the issue that’s been getting environmentally conscious politicians talking at the National Assembly.
“We have lithium. We have the expertise for this kind of battery, but we stop there. We do nothing about recycling,” said QS co-spokesperson Manon Massé.
In a 2016 Hydro-Quebec report, a third-party researcher found that twice as many greenhouses gases are emitted during the production of electric vehicles than gas-powered vehicles. Electric cars also rely on mining lithium and graphite for their batteries.
Massé is calling for more money in research and development.
“We can be a leader, but we have to invest in that,” she said.
MNA Sylvain Gauldreault has owned an electric car for one year, but he says it’s not the only answer to fighting climate change.
“I have to walk more and more, have to drive my bike more and more,” he said.
However, he added that it is the best choice for people who have to drive long distances. He drives to the National Assembly from Jonquière. Liberal MNA Marie Montpetit also drives an electric vehicle back and forth from Montreal.
“And I think it’s better than a non-electric car, but is that still going to be the case in 10, 20, 25 years? We don’t know,” Montpetit said.
Members of all three opposition parties have signed a declaration, committing to fight climate change even if there are no easy solutions.