As the public consultations on the controversial natural gas project in the port of Saguenay opened on Monday evening, environmental opponents organized disruptive action denouncing the potential impacts that the project could have on the ecosystem of the region from 2025.
The coordinated action brought together several organizations that have been campaigning from the outset against the 780-kilometer gas pipeline project promoted by the company GNL Québec. These groups include the Coalition Fjord, Équiterre, Greenpeace Canada, Nature Québec and Eau Secours.
They simulated a press conference with a fake promoter of the project named Énergie Saguenay, placed in front of a false decor depicting a dead beluga and an American flag – because the main investors in the project are Freestone Capital and Breyer Capital: both are American venture capital funds.
In addition to the risks inherent in the construction of a gas pipeline on the territory of Quebec, it is also the numerous movements of LNG carriers, these 30-meter-long vessels, that make environmentalists fear the impact of these back and forth movements. on the beluga population, which is very present in the area.
“The transport of liquefied gas by mega-methane tankers would have major impacts on the biodiversity of the fjord and the St. Lawrence. The impacts would be particularly felt on the beluga, which is already on the verge of extinction. Eliminating an emblematic species from Quebec in order to sell fracking gas abroad is not sustainable development, even if the promoter tries to make us believe it ”, explained in a press release Alice-Anne Simard, director General of Nature Québec.
Things got complicated for GNL Quebec when the Berkshire Hathaway fund, whose boss is prominent investor Warren Buffet, left the ship earlier this year because of the “indigenous blockades” and the “general political context in the country. Canada”.
In August, the Legault government declared that it would not want to end up as the sole financial contribution to the Énergie Saguenay project.
The sessions of the Public Hearing Office on the Environment (BAPE) in Saguenay have been postponed due to the pandemic. The new rules make it possible to accommodate 200 people instead of 250 in order to respect the 2 meters regulatory distance.
The first part of the hearings will take place until Friday, after which a second part will take place at the end of October, where the public can speak and file briefs.