3 000 protest against fracking

2011-06-19 14:01

Montreal - About 3 000 people marched on Saturday to call for an end in Quebec to shale gas exploitation and a technique known as "fracking" that has triggered strong opposition from environmental groups.

The demonstrators marched through downtown Montreal, chanting slogans against drilling.

"Quebec should take a turn for renewable energy, especially new energy sources which are green," said Amir Khadir, a member of the provincial assembly who came on bicycle to join the protest and has organised a petition against shale gas exploitation that has gathered 100 000 signatures.

Most of the protesters said a decision by Quebec authorities to study the issue was insufficient, and called for a moratorium on exploration of the shale gas reserves found four years ago in the Saint Lawrence valley and for environmentalists to be included on a panel to be set up to study the issue.

"Eight of the 11 members of a study panel have ties to the promoters of exploration, industry or the government," maintained Lucie Sauve, a member of a gas shale scientific collective.

Backers say the vast reserves in North America could ease dependence on imported energy. However, some argue that the method risks contaminating underground water sources.

Hydraulic fracturing involves forcing chemicals deep into a well to dislodge natural gas from shale thousands of feet below the surface.

In Quebec, large sources of shale gas are believed to be located in the St Lawrence valley, and Quebec authorities are studying the potential environmental impact of drilling in the area.

The Quebec Association to Combat Air Pollution was one of the organisers of the protest.

In March in face of protests, the Quebec authorities were forced to suspend exploration and to launch the study into the environmental impact.

  • Cassandra100 - 2011-06-19 17:14

    Unfortunately Shell will wave the creation of thousands of new jobs under the noses of the unemployed masses and hail the fact that SA's energy crisis will be something of the past. Who cares about a few whitey farmers who'll be forced to seek greener pastures due to the environmental damage caused by fracking. That's the unfortunate reality. There's potentially millions, if not billions of dollars worth of gas in the Karoo - do you really think government and big business will just walk away from it? Afraid not.

      420 - 2011-06-19 19:16

      You are correct, it does not matter that it is one of the most destructive forms of mining Man has developed. Try get a copy of a documentary called Gas Land ,in areas that have been fracked, you can literally light the water coming out of your tap from all the chemicals pumped into the earth and therefore water table. If the information bill goes through there is no chance of us finding out who will personally benefit from this and any other future deals that may arise, and they will...

  • Willow2 - 2011-06-20 10:50

    I still think that we (South Africans) are too soft. We must get the "boycot shell" actions airborne! ! ! !

  • Richard Burian - 2011-06-27 04:59

    I find it interesting that 3,000 people protest fracking in Montreal when anti-fracking legislation was already passed this March:

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