Mayor of Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean Jean Tremblay Outbursts a Call against Greenpeace

by Raya on March 17, 2015 - 9:14am

Saguenay’s mayor Jean Tremblay posted a video of himself on YouTube explaining his outbreak against Greenpeace and “the intellectuals of the world”. He debates that many workers in industries are losing their jobs due to projects that are stopped by Greenpeace, because they affect the environment in Saguenay.

"Leave us in peace, says Ms. Tremblay. ‘We know very well what the environment is and we have great respect for nature, but we also want to develop and we want our workers to have jobs."

Greenpeace’s spokesperson Nicolas Mainville responded to Mr. Tremblay’s attacks by saying that the mayor is directing his message to the wrong people. He also responds that jobs are at risk because the industry in question, Resolute Forest Product, has not been respecting all the criteria of the certification since January 2014. Due to that, they are losing contracts, and more jobs have to be spared.

The Forest Stewardship Council (most commonly called the FSC certification) is a contract that takes care of environmental issues. The forestry industry infringes several of them, one of them being the conservation of the aboriginal territory. The industry has been logging off some of their territory which is strictly forbidden on the certification. Also, it is one of the thirteen problems they have to fix to have their certification.

Without Greenpeace and their hard work, the environment would not have progressed as much as it is today. Yes, it still does need improvement, I agree. But what if Greenpeace was not there before to intervene in Saguenay and impose an ecological contract for the good of humanity? Citizens would privilege economy and money over essential needs like water and trees, which are unconsciously started to be limited.  In addition, Saguenay has an astounding biodiversity that is important to preserve, not only as a pride, but if they are cut off, they are more likely not to grow back, which will leave a huge impact in Saguenay’s environmental wealth.

If you need more information on how to contribute to local help for the environment, visit Greenpeace Canada’s website:

This article is originally taken from two articles. The first one is “Saguenay mayor’s outcry against Greenpeace” written by CTV Montreal on March 11th 2015.

The second one is “Mayor of Saguenay calls for action against Greenpeace, environmentalists” written by CBC news on March 10th 2015.


This post brings up an excellent debate about the role that each group needs to play to achieve a common goal, and highlights the contrasts in moral systems that can be adopted to solve a dilemma. The mayor of Saguenay appears to support a utilitarian approach to the debate. He believes that despite the effect on the environment, industry will create jobs that will make the lives of the people of his community better. This would be the greatest good for the greatest number of people. If it is the environment that is sacrificed as a result, that is a fair trade-off. He believes the positive economic benefit of job creation outweighs the potential negative environmental impact. On the other hand, Greenpeace appears to favour an approach based on ethical rationalism. It insists that the environment belongs to all humans and animals and should be preserved at all costs. They believe that it is their moral duty based on good will to help the environment, regardless of the ultimate consequences. In Greenpeace's view, the positive benefit of preserving environmental health outweighs the negative impact of industrial growth which destroys it. They believe that the industry's personal financial interests should not override the social interest of a healthier environment. The mayor seems to awkwardly blame Greenpeace for the loss of jobs and development. He notes that as elected officials, they are responsible for creating and enforcing laws and Greenpeace should not be playing the role of enforcer by penalizing companies through negative publicity. Greenpeace argues that it is the company that is not obeying its own contract and therefore they are to blame. Both of them are right. The company should follow the rules it has agreed to and Greenpeace, having succeeded in raising the moral issue which helped to establish those rules in the first place, should leave the enforcement of those rules to the elected officials who are supposed to do what is best for their communities .

First of all, your article is very interesting. It is encouraging to hear news that happen in Quebec, but outside of the big cities. I think you underline a very fascinating conflict of values. For the mayor, the economic needs of his city pass first. However, if you look at the Greenpeace representatives, they mention that the environment issues are even more important. I think the best way to solve this ethical issue is with Utilitarianism. The conflict concerns long and short terms effects. On the mayor’s point of view, he considers that the present is more crucial even though environment is important; the employment of his population is his principal concern. Utilitarianism asked to consider the greatest good for the greater number. It is important to consider to benefits of a situation, but also its downfalls. In this case, I think preserving the environment is important for the population of Saguenay now, but also the future generations. In many years, if they really don’t preserve well the environment at Saguenay, they may lose even more jobs because the city is too polluted. Serious environmental issues can affect the city way beyond it economy. As a last note, your article was great and thank you to sharing it with the Newsactivist community.

I enjoyed reading this post because it is an issue that has been present ever since industrialization. The debate over industry vs environment continues to be present and definitely needs to continue to be discussed and solved. Now it seems to me that you're arguing that environment surpasses money and needs. A utilitarian might argue otherwise. Utilitarianism argues that maximizing happiness, pleasure, and overall human welfare is what is morally correct. If the industries that will be developed will provide jobs and money for the human population, then this will surpass the environment as it will maximize happiness. Without jobs and money, those who live in the Saguenay region may enter an economic downfall creating chaos for the community. Mill may argue that there are some "happiness's" which are more valuable than others. In this case money and a job is more valuable than environment since it will maximize overall happiness.

This article is well done and explained perfectly about the issue. Your statements and quotes are explained perfectly. I see that this post explains more about money management. I feel this post approaches the guiding principle of utilitarian by bringing maximum happiness and pleasures by bringing back jobs for workers. If not, this would lead to high rate of unemployment. i feel that this debate is more discussed then ever by either providing jobs for workers in the industry or to be able to save the environments. Overall the easiest approach is to make money for the individual’s pleasure of happiness.

This is an interesting article that shows up really well the two sides of the debate. I have actually the same opinion as you which is to encourage the great work of Greenpeace. Now, if we take the other side of the debate, Mr. Tremblay’s, and think of it in a deontological way, it wouldn’t be moral. Due to the fact that this theory looks more at the act itself which is to follow reason and good intention we can’t say he is being moral. In fact, we apply the principle of universal law, we will be thinking that if everyone think as Mr. Tremblay do, there might not be a world to talk about since we might have destroyed the earth and makes it immoral.