A new natural gas pipeline from Northern Ontario to Saguenay quebec is being proposed to transport fracked gas from Alberta to the east coast of Canada for export overseas. Communities and environmental groups along the pipeline route are mobilizing against these two projects based on concerns about ecological and marine impacts, climate impacts and in defense of Indigenous rights.
The proposed Gazoduq Project (Project) would consist of the construction and operation of a 750 km underground pipeline between northeastern Ontario and Saguenay, Quebec (Gazoduq, n.d.). The route has not been confirmed yet, but will likely cross about 40 different municipalities. The pipeline would transport gas to Énergie Saguenay, "a company that was granted a license from the National Energy Board to build a facility that will liquify the gas before exporting it to potential markets in Europe and Asia" (Press Canadienne, 2018).
The project is "currently in the planning stages with construction scheduled to begin in 2022. Gazoduq plans to have the pipeline in service by 2024" (Press Canadienne, 2018).
Gazoduq’s president, Louis Bergeron, was previously vice-president of the Energy East pipeline project that was fiercely resisted in Quebec and then abandoned by TransCanada in October 2017 (Press Canadienne, 2018). The premier of Quebec is in full support of the project, has endorsed the project's social acceptability and is in direct contact with 15 lobbyists for the company.
The federal government will have the last word on the project.
2014: The first mention of the natural gas pipeline was made in Quebec media (Dansereau, 2014).
2015: Project announced. Consultation with Innu and others begins.
Aug 2018: The Quebec-based NGO Coule Pas Chez Nous begins campaign about natural gas. Six different collectives in the Regions in Quebec are formed.
November 2018: Official announcement of the project, official consultation starts. Coalition Fjord began mobilizing againt both the pipeline and the liquification plant.
2019: Both of the pipeline and the liquification plant projects in review for environmental impacts and community consultations. National Energy Board, BAP involved at different levels.
January 2019: A large coalition of community groups and environmental organizations launch an open letter "calling on the Quebec government to require a single comprehensive environmental assessment of the Gazoduq / Énergie Saguenay project. This would assess everything from the construction of the gas pipeline to the marine terminal, the gas processing plant to liquefied natural gas (LNG). The groups consider that it is only with such an overall assessment that we will be able to judge the impacts of this project on the Fjord, its biodiversity (especially on belugas) and on the climate by calculating the greenhouse effect (GHG) generated by the entire project, upstream and downstream" (Greenpeace, 2019).
February 2019: Gazoduc Inc and GNL-Québec presented their 1,100-page environmental impact study to the federal and provincial governments (Van Dyk, 2019)