St. Lawrence Action Plan
The St. Lawrence Action Plan is an effective partnership that allows the two governments to harmonize their efforts to protect, enhance and work together on the St. Lawrence, to the benefit of all. Thanks to investments of more than $716 million and the pooled expertise of specialists from many government partners, the St. Lawrence Action Plan results in significant progress toward the sustainable development of the St. Lawrence
The following application principles guide this collaborative approach between the departments and agencies of the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec:
- Intergovernmental cooperation
- Public policy coordination and complementarity
- Knowledge development and dissemination
- Sound management of public funds
Signatories Departments and Agencies
The 2011-2016 St. Lawrence Action Plan is founded on the joint efforts and resources of various departments and agencies of the governments of Canada and Quebec. It aims to implement value-added projects and achieve results based on a common objective.
Regional Round Tables (RRT)
The mission of the Regional Round Tables, as permanent and independent entities, is to assist the various regional stakeholders involved in managing resources and uses relating to their section of the St. Lawrence to plan and harmonize their actions as part of the integrated management of the St. Lawrence.
The Regional Round Tables seek, for their respective regions, to:
- promote collaboration among the regional stakeholders involved in issues affecting the St. Lawrence
- contribute to the development, adoption, implementation and monitoring of a regional integrated management plan (RIMP) in conjunction with the other stakeholders involved, including the Areas of Prime Concern (ZIP) committees.
The integrated management approach to the St. Lawrence does not provide for the creation of new organizations. The Quebec government, in cooperation with regional stakeholders, will entrust the coordination and facilitation of the Regional Issue Tables to a regional organization capable of taking on the mandate. The mandates of these organizations will be to ensure fair representation all stakeholders’ interests and to coordinate the work of the Table (MELCC).
The ZIP Committees: Essential Partners
Under the guidance of the Regional Issue Table, the ZIP (Areas of Prime Concern) committees are responsible for coordinating the development and drafting of a RIMP, which they then also help to implement. ZIP committees in the Montréal and Québec City regions are also invited to serve on their RRTs and, in so doing, take part in defining their own mandates. ZIP committees in areas where RRTs have yet to be formed to pursue their coordinating activities with a view to completing the groundwork for the eventual establishment of their RRT.
Stakeholders in the integrated management of the St. Lawrence River
This section is not intended as an exhaustive description of those participating in the integrated management of the St. Lawrence. Instead, it presents the main categories of those involved.
Government of Quebec
Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs
Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources naturelles
Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation
Ministère des Transports
Ministère de la Sécurité publique
Ministère du Tourisme
Société des établissements de plein air du Québec
Société des traversiers du Québec
Under the Act Respecting Land Use Planning and Development, regional county municipalities (RCM) and metropolitan communities are required to identify zones subject to restrictions for reasons of environmental protection and public safety such as riverbanks and lakeshores, littoral zones and floodplains.
Education and Research
This sector, which includes school boards, primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, helps enhance knowledge and culture through research and development in various social, economic, environmental or other areas. It integrates these advances in education and within the community and disseminates them locally, nationally, and internationally. Similarly, research and education stakeholders serve communities by sharing their expertise with partners from different communities, which spurs intellectual, scientific, cultural, technological and social innovation.
The many non-profit organizations with a stake in the St. Lawrence work mainly in community, recreational, educational and environmental fields.
Collaborative bodies and structures
The ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques is partnering with various organizations to implement integrated water resources management (IWRM) in Quebec. The organizations’ mission, in the area for which they are responsible, is to promote cooperation among stakeholders involved in water resource management and use, and help them coordinate their actions. Watershed organizations (French only) (WOs) share the area covering the St. Lawrence tributaries, which is divided into 40 integrated watershed management areas (French only). Integrated Management of the St. Lawrence (French only) (IMSL) is implemented through 12 regional round tables (French only) (RRTs) that share the 12 IMSL areas covering the entire St. Lawrence.
The WOs and RRTs contribute to the development, adoption, implementation and monitoring of a water master plan or an integrated regional management plan (IRMP) representing the community’s interests and action priorities.
Note that committees on areas of prime concern (ZIP) —regional coordination and action mechanisms—are also present in the area. Their mandate is to bring together the main users of the St. Lawrence in their respective areas and help them work together to resolve local and regional issues affecting St. Lawrence ecosystems and their uses. In the context of Integrated Management of the St. Lawrence, because of their expertise, ZIP committees will be important partners in implementing RRTs and will be involved in their work.
The Mohawk, Abenaki, Huron-Wendat, Maliseet, Micmacs and Innu form the St. Lawrence First Nations. There are 18 Indigenous communities belonging to these nations located along the St. Lawrence. Having inhabited and used the St. Lawrence shorelines and resources for centuries, they have acquired unique knowledge of the area. For these communities, the St. Lawrence, its resources and the uses they make of them, are an integral part of their traditional way of life, which underpins their identity and culture. Today, the St. Lawrence still occupies a privileged place in the activities and development of these communities.
Operators or industries that use the St. Lawrence are stakeholders that work in areas such as shipping, commercial fishing, aquaculture, energy, tourism, agriculture and forestry. They use the St. Lawrence and its resources to generate economic activity.