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Grey Matter: The cement factory that could jeopardize Quebec's green agenda

A VICE documentary investigates a $1.5 billion facility in the Gaspé that will be the single biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the province’s history.

Quebec likes to think of itself as a leader in the fight against climate change. But despite ambitious emission reduction targets, the province quietly championed a controversial cement factory in the remote region of Gaspésie. The $1.5 billion plant will be the single biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the province’s history. And it was pushed through without the public consultations that are normally required by Quebec law.

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In this documentary, VICE travels to the beautiful Gaspé in the dead of winter to see the factory first-hand. Amidst high unemployment, the plant’s owners are promising locals much-needed jobs. We meet with residents, former government officials, and the company itself to find out why Quebec is endorsing an industry that’s responsible for a whopping 8 percent of global CO2 emissions.

Our investigation reveals a region struggling to stay on its feet, uncovers a powerful corporate lobby, and looks at the controversial process by which the government approved and financed the project.