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QUEBEC CITY (Quebec) – October 9, 2013 – Encouraging the substitution of fossil fuels with low-carbon alternatives, instituting a predictable long-term planning process for road construction, and fostering a “right material for the right job” approach are three strategies the Quebec government should adopt as it addresses the climate change challenge. These are the messages being communicated today by the Cement Association of Canada (CAC) during an awareness day on Quebec’s National Assembly.
Encouraging the use of waste materials as alternative fuels
Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is no easy task and Quebec’s cement plants have been working hard in this regard, as demonstrated by their increasing use of large quantities of low-carbon alternative fuels. For example, diverting non-recyclable waste, such as construction and demolition waste, from landfills and using it as a substitute for fossil fuel in cement manufacturing leads to significant environmental benefits, including reduced GHGs. “Our cement plants are doing their utmost to minimize their impact on the environment. It is vital that the Government of Quebec continue to support us in our use of alternative fuels in an effort to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and ensure the competitiveness of our Quebec members, who are proud to have been based in the province for decades now,” said Michel Binette, CAC’s Vice President for the Quebec and Atlantic Regions.
Five-year roadwork plan
The CAC would also like to see the Quebec Ministry of Transportation adopt a five year planning horizon for road construction. “We believe that long-term planning, as is done by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, will provide Quebeckers with greater value for their money. It will also increase the productivity and competitiveness of our entrepreneurs, allowing them to invest more in their workforce and equipment,” added Mr. Binette. Additionally, Quebec drivers would benefit from direct savings when concrete is selected as the paving material ? a dozen international studies have shown that driving on concrete roads reduces vehicle gas consumption by as much as 3% or more.
“The right material for the right job”
Concrete is durable. It doesn’t burn, rust or rot. This attribute should be top of mind when a material is being chosen for building a resilient infrastructure. A concrete structure will not only last and benefit from a reduced environmental footprint, it will also stand up to the most extreme weather conditions.
The CAC is disappointed that the current government has recently adopted a Charter of Wood. The Charter reflects the wood industry’s intensive and largely publicly-funded lobbying to convince politicians to bypass Quebec’s building code process. These efforts discount the professional judgement and experience of many architects and engineers and disregard serious reservations around fire safety issues.
About the Cement Association of Canada
The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) is the voice of Canada's cement manufacturers, a vital contributor to the country's economy and infrastructure. The industry provides a reliable, domestic supply of cement required to build Canada's infrastructure. The CAC and its members are committed to the environmentally responsible manufacturing of cement and concrete products. CAC's members are: Ciment Québec, Colacem Canada, ESSROC Italcementi Group, Federal White Cement Ltd., Holcim Canada, Lafarge Canada, Lehigh Hanson Canada and St Marys Cement Group — companies whose parent corporations belong to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Cement Sustainability Initiative. The cement and concrete industry contributes more than $8 billion in annual sales and over 27,000 direct and indirect jobs to the Canadian economy.
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For more information:
Cement Association of Canada
Tel : 613 236 9471 ext 211