PQ government hints at shale-gas ban


QUEBEC – The new Parti Quebecois government hasn’t wasted any time hinting about a long-term ban on the shale gas industry.

Quebec’s new natural-resources minister, Martine Ouellet, says she doesn’t believe the controversial method of extracting natural gas from shale, known as “fracking,” can ever be done safely.

She made the remarks Thursday on her way into her first cabinet meeting, less than 24 hours after she was named to cabinet.

“I don’t foresee a day when there will be technology that will allow safe exploitation (of shale gas),” Ouellet said in Quebec City.

“Our position is very clear: we want a complete moratorium, not only on exploitation but also on exploration of shale gas. We haven’t changed our minds.”

Under political pressure, the former Liberal government halted shale-gas exploration last year in the fledgling industry to conduct more studies on the ecological risks. The environmental-review process was expected to take a couple of years.

Critics fear the method of unlocking natural gas from shale formations will create serious environmental problems — including the contamination of drinking water.

The industry insists that extraction chemicals are only used in small doses and the chances of them seeping into the environment are very slim.

Analysts, meanwhile, have called shale gas a potential economic game-changer.

The industry has boasted that the provincial government, which is saddled with public debt, would reap annual royalties of $1 billion from shale gas development.

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PQ government hints at shale-gas ban

  1. Ouellet is an idiot.

    • Another insightful comment, Emily!

      • Obviously… you understood it

  2. If we look at the mess the shale gas industry have done in Pennsylvania we don’t need that. Those industries just want to grab the money and run. After, it us that will have to pay the bill for that mess! Thanks but no thanks.

  3. Canada should impute resource income to Quebec and adjust transfer payments accordingly.

    • Fracking is extremely controversial; I can’t blame any government for not proceeding with it. Environmental decisions should not be based on potential income (though I’m sure most CPC supporters would say the opposite).

    • Don’t forget we are the most important producer of clean energy (hydro) that we export and the oil we use don’t come from north america. Your oil come mainly from north africa.

  4. Given the removal of tuition fee hikes by the PQ I’d suggest they’re greedy enough to ingnore their own good advice.

    • PQ just need to put a 0.5 % special tax on bank profit and that will pay for the tuition fee. Education is important and industries benefit of it, so let them contribute to the education of their future workers.

  5. All that the shale gas industry needs to do is set money aside to deal with whatever contaminated drinking water might appear – kind of a no fault arrangement.

    A few years after the extraction is complete they can get their damage deposit back.

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