In a press conference Wednesday morning in Mont-Saint-Grégoire, in Montérégie, Mr. Legault stated that there was no social acceptance in Quebec and recalled that the Bureau d’audiences publiques en environnement (BAPE) recognized the project in its final report presented declined in March 2021.
The CAQ chief also recalled that the GNL-Quebec gas pipeline would cross several regions of Quebec. So it doesn’t just affect Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, he stressed.
With the information I have today, the project is being rejected and there are no intentions to change that, he explained.
“Nothing has changed on this side. It is closed. »
— A quote from François Legault, President of the Coalition avenir Québec
Mr Legault confirmed that there had indeed been talks between Quebec and Ottawa in anticipation of the German Chancellor’s visit last week and that his government had shown itself open to exporting green hydrogen. But they haven’t changed his party’s position on GNL Quebec, he assured.
However, according to our information, the CAQ Ottawa government has recently said that it remains open to carrying out the project. Informal approaches led by Pierre Fitzgibbon’s cabinet have been made over the past two to three months, according to three different federal sources.
lack of transparency
The news angered most of the other parties campaigning that morning, the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ), Quebec Solidaire (QS), the Parti Quebecois (PQ) and the Quebec Green Party (PVQ), who supported their strong opposition reiterated to this natural gas export project.
An Anglade government would reject GNL Quebec, Liberal leader Dominique Anglade hammered at a news conference. Ms Anglade accused the outgoing government of changing its mind and secretly negotiating something that has no place.
A PLQ government, she said, would not restart the Énergie Saguenay project and instead bet on green hydrogen projects that will lead us to carbon neutrality.
PQ manager Paul St-Pierre Plamondon sees this as another example of the lack of transparency in CAQ. One wonders what the CAQ’s real intention is, what is happening behind the scenes, he added, noting that only 31% of Quebecers trusted François Legault’s environmental plan.
The elections, a referendum on LNG Quebec, according to Duhaime
In fact, only the Quebec Conservative Party (PCQ) was pleasantly surprised to learn Wednesday morning that the project was still in the CAQ’s cards, and its leader, Éric Duhaime, said he was glad to hear it.
He quickly became disillusioned to learn that Mr Legault had reiterated Wednesday morning that there was no question of reviving the project by evoking the concept of social acceptance.
According to him, the residents of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean are largely in favor of Énergie Saguenay, and because those in Montreal are opposed, the government has decided to nip the project in the bud.
Coincidence or coincidence, the PCQ was already scheduled to present its position on GNL Quebec on Wednesday morning in Saguenay.
Mr Duhaime slams the CAQ for betraying the region by making them believe it was pro-project in 2018. October 3 will serve as a referendum on Énergie Saguenay, says the Conservative leader, who invites all supporters of the project to vote for its creation.
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Québec Solidaire’s co-spokesman regretted that Éric Duhaime was in the process of convincing François Legault and his ministers Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
According to him, ongoing intergovernmental talks on GNL Québec show that the convictions [de François Legault] Rock and his opinions vary.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois emphasized that Pierre Fitzgibbon is not a player in the fourth row at CAQ. He is François Legault’s favorite minister. Without the support of François Legault, he would never have held talks with the federal government. I do not believe it.
Everyone knows François Legault: he is not the type to let his ministers do anything, he stressed.Enlarge picture (New window)
According to Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, Pierre Fitzgibbon could not have held talks with Ottawa about GNL Quebec without François Legault’s knowledge.
Photo: Radio Canada / Dany Pilote
GNL Quebec said on Wednesday that the company would not grant an interview on the matter.
However, it sent a statement to Radio-Canada saying it is pleased that its projects, including Énergie Saguenay, continue to attract significant interest.
These projects, the company argues, are uniquely positioned to help our transatlantic allies. [et présentent] what Canada and Quebec can best offer to diversify Europe’s energy sources and replace the most polluting fuels.
GNL Québec’s Énergie Saguenay project is valued at US$14 billion. In particular, it envisages the construction of a natural gas liquefaction complex at the port of Saguenay and the construction of a gas pipeline of around 750 kilometers that will cross Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Haute-Mauricie and Lac-Saint-Jean.
According to the Canadian Registry of Lobbyists website, GNL Quebec CEO Jim Illich spoke twice in the past month to Canadian Ambassador to Germany Stéphane Dion to promote the project.
However, Énergie Saguenay was also rejected by Ottawa that winter.
But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was questioned on the issue on the sidelines of a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, was open to exploring a different version of the project. If people want to bring back a new project, another project, it will go through the regulatory stages in Quebec and Canada if necessary, he said.
The Conservatives strongly support the project. The two leaders of the lead race, Pierre Poilievre and Jean Charest, would like to revive it, but both promise to respect Quebec’s jurisdiction in the matter.
The GNL Québec project in Saguenay continues to attract behind-the-scenes government interest. However, François Legault seemed to say that the project was dead and buried. This news surprised Patrick Bonin, head of Greenpeace’s climate-energy campaign.
Patrick Bonin, who oversees Greenpeace Canada’s climate-energy campaign, believes the CAQ’s renewed interest in GNL Québec comes out of the blue.
We had heard that Mr Legault, who appears to have changed tide, was turning to renewable energy, a transition for the region, so of course we hope [qu’il] quickly clarify that no, the door is completely closed, he said in an interview with D’abord l’info, Wednesday morning on ICI RDI.
In this file, Ottawa and Quebec are accomplices, notes Mr. Bonin. If only to hold a meeting to talk about GNL Quebec when they should be focusing on the transition [environnementale]obviously it’s totally out of order, he felt.