Mr Bibeau is concerned about the strength of the oil lobby. Their present influence in Quebec and Canada is such that the decision makers have completely lost their sense of the common good.
The Liberal Party under the Influence of the Private Sector
Since I returned from vacation, I have not ceased to think about the contradictions in the discourse of the Quebec Liberals headed by M. Couillard. When learned that this government launched its Law 106 on hydrocarbons at the beginning of June with a parliamentary commission for mid August , I said to myself that we would see a hot summer.
When we look more closely at this law, we notice that it is in complete contradiction to M. Couillard’s declarations at the Paris Summit. We recall that at that summit, Quebec and Canada presented themselves as as defenders of the environment, ready to put in place energy measures to combat the increase in greenhouse gases by limiting our domestic production.
M. Couillard openly disavowed the exploration which was supposed to begin on Anticosti Island by saying that the project was not his, but rather, of the previous government. A few months later, it is apparent that M. Couillard
is favourable to the exploration, not only on Anticosti, but also everywhere in Quebec where the oil companies wish to drill. Law 106, if adopted in its present form, will allow oil companies to drill anywhere in Quebec where they have obtained an exploration permit.. What is more, if they wish to expropriate the farmer or property owner who has shale gas under his land, they may proceed with impunity and the blessing of the Couillard government. When the population becomes acquainted with these facts, it is doubtful that the Liberals will have an easy time of it. In addition, this law nullifies the municipalities’ jurisdiction of their water. It is the oil companies who will become the owners of our land.
What could have happened between the Paris Summit and today that we are witnessing such an about turn? The answer is very simple: the strength of the oil lobby. Their present influence in Quebec and Canada is such that the decision makers have completely lost their sense of the common good. These issues are very serious because they bear on the very essence of democracy. Despite the general consensus among the population against the Energy East project and against shale gas exploration, the government is charging ahead with these outdated projects. Many people in Quebec thought there was a moratorium on the exploitation of shale gas; mistake! The government never ordered a moratorium on this question.
In addition, it has not even respected the conclusions of the BAPE which had been ordered on the subject and which goes counter to what the government is proposing in its new law.
As one can see, this government has taken the part of private industry to the detriment of the entire population it represents. The Liberal Party, with cuts made to the public service, has weakened our institutions and thus the population, all for the profit of of the private sector. This highjacking of democracy must not be tolerated and it is up to the whole population of Quebec to stand up to oppose these projects which threaten the common good.
The vision of the future for Quebec rests in the development of renewable energies bringing jobs and respect for our environment. We have everything that is needed to build a future without oil . It is up to us to take back our democracy in order to preserve our water, our land, and our air for the generations to follow.
citoyen de Repentigny,
21st of July, 2016