MONTREAL | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE KANIEN’KEHÁ:KA FIRST NATION — The Quebec government’s announcement that it is rejecting the GNL Québec LNG project is a victory for the tens of thousands of people who have mobilized over the past three years. It’s a move the undersigned groups strongly support.
Over the years, more than 120,000 Quebecers have signed a petition against the project. As well, 54 student associations representing nearly 360,000 students, more than 648 scientists including 250 doctors and health professionals, 40 economists, more than 60 civil society groups, all opposition parties (representing 58 per cent of voters) and three Innu communities have taken a stand against GNL Québec. Public consultations held by the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) also drew historic participation, with more than 2,500 briefs submitted — of which more than 90 per cent opposed the project — leading to a devastating BAPE report. This rejection is the result of an unprecedented collective effort of which thousands of Quebecers can be proud.
With this decision, the government is siding with the many scientists who have condemned the project because of the enormous greenhouse gas emissions it would have generated and the harmful effects on St. Lawrence beluga whales.
“The Quebec government’s announcement that it is rejecting the GNL Québec project demonstrates that there is no future for fossil fuel projects,” said the environmental groups. “With the death of the Energy East pipeline in 2017, the setback of Goldboro LNG earlier this month and the rejection of GNL Québec today, we can finally look forward to a future without new pipelines in la belle province.”
This decision is also the result of several years of mobilization. The first protest against the project was organized by frontline activists from the Innu nation in 2017. Since then, the movement has continued to grow: hundreds of events against the project have taken place throughout the province. These demonstrations have brought together hundreds of thousands of Quebecers of all ages and backgrounds behind a common slogan: “We deserve better!”
The groups would also like to highlight the leadership of local organizations that have stood up to this project in recent years, including the Fjord Coalition in the Saguenay, the Innu Mashk Assi collective on the Nitassinan, the Mouvement citoyen littoralement inacceptable in Tadoussac, the Comité citoyen carboneutre de la MRC de Maskinongé in the Mauricie region, and Gazoduq parlons-en, the Rouyn-Noranda Anti-pipeline Coalition and Action boréale in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
“It is now time to develop projects for a resilient future,” the groups said. “We must work to implement an ecological and social transition by putting forward sustainable economic development projects that respect nature. We are excited to turn the page on four years of relentless mobilization and are ready to participate with local communities in the development of forward-looking projects committed to a green transition in a 21st century economy.”
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The signatory groups are:
Action Environnement Basses-Laurentides, Amnesty international Canada francophone, the Quebec Association of Physicians for the Environment (QAPE), the Rouyn-Noranda Anti-Pipeline Coalition, the Stop GNL student coalition, the Coalition étudiante pour un virage environnemental et social (CEVES), Eau Secours, ENvironnement JEUnesse, Équiterre, David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace, le Mouvement citoyen littoralement inacceptable, Nature Québec, La Planète s’invite en Santé, Protect Our Winters Canada, le Regroupement national des conseils régionaux de l’environnement du Québec (RNCREQ), le Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec, la Société pour la nature et les parcs (SNAP Québec), the Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec (SFPQ) and WWF Canada.
For more information or media interviews:
Alice-Anne Simard, Nature Québec, (418) 803-4992; firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthony Côté Leduc, Équiterre, (514) 605-2000; email@example.com
Charles Bonhomme, Fondation David Suzuki, (438) 883-8348; firstname.lastname@example.org
Philippa Duchastel de Montrouge, Greenpeace Canada, (514) 929-8227; email@example.com
Diego Creimer, SNAP Québec, (514) 999-6743; firstname.lastname@example.org
François Gagné, Coalition anti-pipeline de Rouyn-Noranda, (819) 290-9958; email@example.com
Pamela Daoust, Quebec Association of Physicians for the Environment (QAPE)
(514) 267-2589; firstname.lastname@example.org