QUEBEC ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS ARE ON HIGH ALERT. A group of 150 activists gathered in Tadoussac, Quebec June 16 to demonstrate opposition to a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline proposed for eastern Canada.
Two days later the federal government approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX) in the west. The Quebec activists know the corporate drive for fossil fuel expansion won’t stop there. They are determined to see that it does.
No more pipelines
The protestors gathered in the early afternoon and rallied on the beach before splitting into two groups, one launching into the bay in kayaks and the other marching across the small village to raise public awareness of the threat the LNG pipeline would pose to their region.
Youth in Quebec are worried. The collective La planète s’invite á l’université, the student environment movement in Quebec, sent four members to Tadoussac, to mobilize with locals, connect with students across the province and plan a provincial congress which will formalize the collective in September. The collective is working to mobilize students in Ontario as well to help stop this project, as the pipeline must cross both provinces.
The proposed LNG pipeline would run across Ontario and Quebec to end in Tadoussac, a small village on the north-west shore of the Saint Lawrence River, at the mouth of the Saguenay River.
Adding another pipeline will only add to our global climate emergency. But the LNG pipeline would do extra local environmental damage: it would end in the Saguenay Basin, an ecologically sensitive area where water from the Great Lakes and the Atlantic meet via the St. Lawrence River.
The increase in tanker traffic in the now protected Sagney basin would threaten the only remaining protected habitat for Canada’s endangered beluga whales.
The proposed LNG project is simply a rebranded Energy East—a pipeline that would have carried Alberta oilsands product from Alberta to Saint John, NB. Transcanada Pipelines abandoned the project in 2017 after the National Energy Board said its environmental review would consider indirect greenhouse gas emissions.
The LNG project would follow the same route as Energy East with he same goal: get Alberta fossil fuels to global markets.
Energie Saguenay, the company pushing the project forward, has been trying to brand the project as “environmentally friendly.” Their argument is that Canada’s natural gas is “friendly” to the environment as it will replace coal and crude in other countries, reducing net global emissions. Critics disagree.
There is no evidence countries will replace high carbon energy sources with natural gas. It is just as likely Canada’s natural gas will replace truly “friendly” sustainable energy in other nations.
The project would increase extraction in Alberta by three times, significantly increasing Canada’s emissions. In one year, the emissions this project would produce would cancel out all the progress made by Quebec to reduce emissions since the 1990’s.
150 scientist oppose LNG pipeline
On June 3, 150 scientists signed an open letter to the prime minister insisting he cancel the LNG Quebec project in order to maintain Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and for the health and safety of Canadians as this project is not in line with the Liberal promise to act in the climate crisis.
Canada is warming at two times the rate of other nations. Some parts of the country have already seen more than 1.5C increase in temperature. Canadians need to fight for our right to a safe environment. The Liberal TMX approval and Conservative climate platform proves those two parties never will.
This article was originally published by The Canadian Labour Institute.
Reprinted with permission for CALM Members use.