Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Shawinigan, Chicoutimi, Val-d’Or, Rouyn-Noranda – Today, the sun rose on six banners showing multiple communities’ solidarity in opposition to the GNL Québec project — from Saguenay to Montreal. Coming the day before the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) submits a key report to the Legault government, the coordinated actions send a united message to the Premier to reject the project: there is no social acceptability for this project, which will have major impacts on climate, biodiversity and health.
Environmental and citizen groups deployed the banners at symbolic locations across six cities. The banners read :
- “GNL : Legault, you have no go”, at the Old Port of Montreal (next to the emblematic “Five Roses Farine” sign). The banner refers to the Prime Minister’s 2014 election campaign message.
- “Yes to the transition, No to GNL Québec,” at the Pont Piste Cyclable in Shawinigan, in Mauricie.
- “Yes to Transition, No to GNL Québec” at the Trois-Rivières Maritime Terminal, in Mauricie.
- “GNL = climatic bomb”, at the Sainte-Anne Bridge in Chicoutimi, Saguenay.
- “Dear extractivists, Abitibi is not an open bar”, at La Cité de l’Or, in Val-d’Or, Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
- “Gazoduq en Abitibi? No thanks! We deserve better”, at the Rideau Boulevard viaduct, in Rouyn-Noranda, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
The mobilized citizen groups are directly impacted by the potential construction of a gas pipeline that would cross Quebec, from the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region to the Saguenay . Indeed, the GNL Québec project would involve the construction of a 782 km gas pipeline (by the company Gazoduq), a gas liquefaction plant (by Énergie Saguenay) and an export terminal to service supertankers. The project alone would generate emissions equivalent to more than 50 million tons of CO2 per year, or more than 10 million vehicles, for at least 25 years. What’s more, the project would increase electricity rates by more than 2% for millions of Quebecers.
This major project is aimed at expanding unconventional fossil gas production known as fracked gas in Western Canada and exporting it to international markets. This would require going through Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Haute-Mauricie, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, the Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence River (and through the communities of Matheson, Ramore near Timmins, and Kirkland Lake in Ontario). The proposed route would also cross a territory that has been inhabited by First Nations for millennia and would negatively impact the lives of eight communities.
A total of 648 scientists, including 250 doctors and health professionals, 40 economists and 127 professors, lecturers and professionals from UQAC have taken a stand against GNL Québec. In addition, 54 student associations representing more than 350,000 students are opposed to the project, not to mention a petition signed by more than 120,000 people to date—one of the largest environmental petitions in Quebec’s history  . With barely one-third of the population in favour of the project according to a Léger poll, GNL Québec lacks the social license required as per the government’s own say and so they have no choice, by their own standard, but to reject it.
Like the Teck Frontier mine and the Énergie Est, Coastal Gaslink, Trans Mountain Expansion pipelines and other projects, GNL Québec is in total opposition to the Paris Accord and the climate objectives of Quebec and Canada. The Legault government must work for a just and green recovery and never approve new destructive projects.
“If Mr. Legault approves GNL Québec, he will be branded as a climate change pariah who will have reneged on the Paris Accord and discredited any claim to want a just, green and inclusive recovery for Quebec. The Premier must choose between the interests of gas companies, on the one hand, and the protection of the global climate and the future of our children, on the other.”
“XR Mauricie is committed to never let GNL Québec see the light! The citizens of the Mauricie region want to protect their environment and continue to enjoy it. Nature is easy to destroy, but not easy to rebuild. While we are in the midst of an accelerated extinction, such a project only adds fuel to the fire. We will not let the Legault government fool Quebecers with the supposed benefits of this project.”
Collectif de Rééducation Urbaine:
“There is no social acceptability for a destructive project based on the transportation of fossil fuels. Behind a green facade, the LNG Quebec company is preparing to eliminate all the efforts made by Quebec to reduce its GHG emissions. Natural gas from hydraulic fracturing is not a transitional energy. Moreover, the transportation of hydrocarbons by LNG carriers in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park involves too many risks for marine fauna and flora, including, to take just one example, exposure to noise and collisions in the critical habitat of the beluga whale, a species already at risk. The region deserves much better.”
Coalition Anti-pipeline Rouyn-Noranda:
“We are here today because we deserve better, better than a government that chooses to waste our hydropower to increase the production and consumption of polluting fossil fuels. We deserve a government that will support the production of renewable energy in Québec in order to replace the fossil fuels that we buy up to $5.5 billion a year from abroad.”
*GNL Québec changed its official name on March 7th to Symbio Infrastructure.
 The pipeline would pass through the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region, but the pipeline would cut through Abitibi.
For more information, please contact:
For Montreal and Mauricie:
Loujain Kurdi, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada, +1 514 577-6657, [email protected]
Simon Tremblay, spokesperson for the Collectif de Rééducation Urbaine, +1-438 525-4389, [email protected]
François Gagné, co-spokesperson of the Coalition Anti-pipeline Rouyn-Noranda, +1 819 290-9958, [email protected]