While Quebeckers from all walks of life are demanding that the Quebec government play a leadership role in protecting the environment and fighting climate change, the new Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, must take responsibility for the proposed gas pipeline and marine terminal for the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
The project in question will have catastrophic effects on the belugas of the St. Lawrence. By increasing liquefied gas vessel traffic in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, the chances of survival of this species, unique to Quebec, are minimal. Extinction in the coming years will be more likely than ever if this project moves forward.
The pipeline will increase GHGs here and in Western Canada where gas will be extracted using hydraulic fracturing, a devastating technology for groundwater and drinking water. The exported gas will be used as an alternative to renewable energy and will continue to aggravate climate change.
Today, we learn that the Legault government is opposed to a global evaluation of the project. That is, to analyse the impacts of the extraction, construction of the gas pipeline, the port, as well as the impacts of maritime traffic on sensitive ecosystems. This idea of analysing the different parts of the project separately makes no sense. The companies in question are managed by the same directors. The existence of the two companies in question seems relevant only in order to circumvent the regulations. The Legault government and the new Ministry of the Environment must assume their responsibilities by opposing the project, or at a minimum by conducting a comprehensive environmental assessment.
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec