Drill, Bébé, Drill

Alberta Oil - - OBSERVER -

QUE­BEC HAS COME UN­DER FIRE FROM en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists for al­low­ing frack­ing on an is­land in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Lib­eral Premier Philippe Couil­lard says he’s stick­ing to a deal inked by the pre­vi­ous Parti Québé­cois gov­ern­ment to al­low test drills on An­ti­costi, a 200-kilo­me­ter long is­land known for its salmon fish­ing. Couil­lard had pre­vi­ously said he’d can the project, telling CBC News “the de­struc­tion of a nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment like An­ti­costi will not bear my sig­na­ture.”

Que­bec City-based frack­ing firm Petro­lia, will draw up to 30 mil­lion liters of wa­ter at three test sites, much of it from rivers on the is­land. The waste­water will be treated and dumped into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The agree­ment with Petro­lia was signed be­fore the 2014 election. “The con­tract is there. We have to fol­low it,” Couil­lard says. “It doesn’t mean that we’re happy. We’re go­ing to pro­tect that unique ecosys­tem, I can tell you that.” Just be­fore call­ing the election, then­premier Pauline Marois an­nounced the deal say­ing, “To­day, Que­bec is tak­ing back its rights on nat­u­ral re­sources” to en­sure Que­bec will lessen its de­pen­dence on for­eign oil.

Cana­dian en­ergy pro­po­nents like to make tar­gets of those eastern-province po­lit­i­cans who block en­ergy de­vel­op­ment in their own prov­inces while ben­e­fit­ing from the fed­eral equal­izaion pay­ments that western-province en­ergy de­vel­op­ment pro­vides.

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