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Québec gère-t-il adéquatement ses pneus hors d’usage?

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Un texte de Nancy Caouette

En mai 1990, les résidents de Saint-Amable ont vécu l’enfer. Les fumées toxiques qui s’étaient dégagées du brasier avaient forcé l’évacuation de familles qui vivaient à proximité.

Des cours d’eau et le sol ont été contaminés. Toutefois, une couche d’argile de 20 mètres sous les pneus avait permis de limiter les dégâts en jouant le rôle de couche imperméable pour éviter que les matières toxiques n’atteignent la nappe phréatique.

Le gouvernement du Québec avait déboursé 12 millions de dollars afin de réparer les dommages causés par l’incendie. La province en avait toutefois tiré une leçon : la gestion des pneus hors d’usage doit être assurée par l’État.

En 1993, Québec crée le Programme de gestion intégrée des pneus hors d’usage, qui sera géré par Recyc-Québec.

À partir de 1999, les automobilistes québécois sont appelés à financer le programme en payant trois dollars de plus sur chaque pneu neuf acheté.

Une responsabilité partagée, dit un expert

Cet automne, la vérificatrice générale Guylaine Leclerc a critiqué la gestion de Recyc-Québec relativement aux pneus hors d’usage.

Selon la vérificatrice, la société d’État n’assume pas le leadership qui lui revient en matière de gestion des pneus hors d’usage, alors que les stocks des recycleurs québécois ont plus que doublé en deux ans seulement.

« Québec n’a pas mis en place de système de surveillance adéquat qui lui permet d’obtenir l’assurance raisonnable que les pneus hors d’usage sont traités et entreposés de façon sécuritaire », a indiqué la vérificatrice générale lors de la présentation de son rapport.

Selon le professeur en gestion des risques majeurs à l’UQAM, Michel C. Doré, les usines de recyclage sont aussi à blâmer.

« C’est une responsabilité partagée avec un grand nombre d’acteurs. Il y a une obligation d’avoir un cadre légal et des lois, mais les exploitants des usines de recyclage ont aussi l’obligation de s’assurer de la sécurité des lieux. »

Selon l’expert en toxicologie et coprésident de la Société pour vaincre la pollution, Daniel Green, le système actuel de gestion des pneus hors d’usage doit être revu.

Selon lui, l’État devrait plutôt demander aux grands joueurs de l’industrie du pneu de faire partie de la solution.

« Le pneu retournerait à Firestone, Goodyear, Pirelli et Michelin. Ils reprendraient les vieux pneus pour en faire des pneus neufs. Les pneus d’hier deviendraient les pneus de demain », suggère-t-il.

L’an dernier, Recyc-Québec a traité 90 142 tonnes de pneus usagés, soit plus que ce que le Québec peut récupérer.

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Ottawa unveils funding for poultry and egg farmers hurt by free-trade deals

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Canadian egg and poultry farmers who’ve lost domestic market share due to two recent free-trade agreements will soon have access to $691 million in federal cash, Canada’s agriculture minister announced Saturday.

Marie-Claude Bibeau shared details of the long-awaited funds in a virtual news conference.

“Today we position our young farmers for growth and success tomorrow,” she said.

The money follows a previously announced $1.75 billion for the dairy sector linked to free-trade deals with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim, one that came into effect in 2017 and the other in 2018.

The dairy sector funds were to flow over eight years, and the first $345 million payment was sent out last year.

But on Saturday, Bibeau announced a schedule for the remaining payments that will see the money flow over three years — beginning with $468 million in 2020-21, $469 million in 2021-22 and $468 million in 2022-23.

Bibeau said the most recently announced funds for dairy farmers amount to an average farm of 80 cows receiving a direct payment of $38,000 in the first year.

Payments based on formulas

David Wiens, vice-president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, said the money will help farms make investments for the future.

“I think particularly for the younger farmers who have really struggled since these agreements have been ratified, they can actually now see opportunities, how they can continue to make those investments on the farm so that they can continue on,” he said.

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Employee of Ottawa Metro store tests positive for COVID-19

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Metro says an employee of its grocery store on Beechwood Avenue in Ottawa has tested positive for COVID-19.

The company says the employee’s positive test result was reported on Nov. 25. The employee had last been at work at the Metro at 50 Beechwood Ave. on Nov. 19.

Earlier this month, Metro reported several cases of COVID-19 at its warehouse on Old Innes Road.

Positive test results were reported on Nov. 2, Nov. 6, Nov. 11, and Nov. 19. The first two employees worked at the produce warehouse at 1184 Old Innes Rd. The other two worked at the distribution centre at the same address.

Metro lists cases of COVID-19 in employees of its stores and warehouses on its website

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Tinseltown: Where 50-year-old ‘tough guys’ become youngsters again

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Audy Czigler wears glitter like a Pennsylvania miner wears coal dust. It’s on his face and hands, in his hair and on his clothing. It’s an occupational hazard that he says he just can’t get rid of.

And when he’s sifting through job applications from people wanting to work at his Tinseltown Christmas Emporium on Somerset Street W. in Hintonburg, the glitter is a consideration. For he’s not looking for people who can simply endure it; no, he’s screening for people who revel and carouse in glitter, for those for whom the 10,000th playing of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus is as refreshing as the first, for those who believe that the 12 days of Christmas last 365 days a year. The believers.

Sure, he has heard the voices of skeptical passersby on the sidewalk outside his shop, especially in the summer months when visions of sugarplums have receded from many people’s minds.

“I hear them out there a few times a day,” he says, “wondering how a Christmas store can possibly survive year-round.

“I want to go out and tell them,” he adds, but his voice trails off as a customer approaches and asks about an ornament she saw there recently, of a red cardinal in a white heart. Where is it?

There’s scant room for sidewalk skeptics now, crowded out by the dozens of shoppers who, since October, have regularly lined up outside the store, patiently biding their time (and flocks) as pandemic-induced regulations limit the shop to 18 customers at a time.

Once inside, visitors will be forgiven for not first noticing the glitter, or even the rendition of Baby, It’s Cold Outside playing on the speakers. For there’s no specific “first thing” you notice. The first thing you notice is EVERYTHING — a floor-to-ceiling cornucopia of festivity, reminiscent perhaps of how the blind man in the Gospel of John may have felt when Jesus rubbed spit and mud in his eyes and gave him sight for the first time.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/tinseltown-where-50-year-old-tough-guys-become-youngsters-again

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