A video message posted on YouTube by the mayor of Saguenay is going viral after Jean Tremblay called on all city employees and unions to take action against Greenpeace and "the intellectuals of this world."
"If things continue like this, there will be no more work for our workers. We are not able to develop projects anymore," Tremblay says in the video.
"Our forest — we have an extraordinary forest — but the people of Greenpeace with their certifications are more intelligent than our government that establishes laws and is elected democratically?"
The video was posted Tuesday and had more than 30,000 hits by the end of the day.
"We are coming up with some great projects in Saguenay — the liquefaction of natural gas, Arianne Phosphate, BlackRock. They'll just block us. There will be no more jobs in the region. These people are leading us by the nose. I ask you, unions, workers, let’s mobilize against Greenpeace and against the intellectuals of this world," he continues.
"Leave us in peace. 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 spokesman Nicolas Mainville saw the video and said Tremblay is targeting the wrong people.
"Whatever the project, attacking the intellectuals or Greenpeace or the environmental movement does not work. The environmental side is part of the development. Everyone recognizes that. Now we have to work together in collaboration," Mainville said.
The MNA for the region, Sylvain Gaudreault, deplored the mayor’s rant on social media.
"It's more silliness in his succession of blunders … he has no credibility to make a call to action when he himself refused to participate in the movement ‘Don’t touch my region,’" Gaudreault said.
The union president of the CSN du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean said there is no intention to respond to the mayor’s call to action.
But for some Quebecers, Tremblay's rant was just fodder for comedy. The satirical site Le Navet posted a story saying environmentalists had invaded the city and imposed ecological law.