stop fracking on Anticosti Island (Quebec) before it starts!

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
stop fracking on Anticosti Island (Quebec) before it starts!


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Petition:  Anticosti Island, natural world heritage treasure, threatened by oil and gas companies!

email our MP Jonathan Genest-Jourdain:

email our MNA Lorraine Richard:

Please respond - Anticosti is close to me, and it's an incredible place.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Just saw this: Ottawa faces $250-million suit over Quebec environmental stance

Quebec has abundant shale gas formations but the provincial government has declared a moratorium on fracking while it studies the environmental impact of the technology, which some say consumes unacceptable volumes of water and may be contaminating groundwater. Quebec also passed legislation in June banning drilling below the St. Lawrence River.

Lone Pine contends it deserves $250 million in compensation by Ottawa for the Quebec government’s expropriation of its drilling permit, which it says violates Canada’s obligations to treat foreign investors from other NAFTA countries fairly.

Critics of NAFTA’s Chapter 11 provisions say the threatened suit by Lone Pine drives home the risks of bilateral investor protection treaties, which they say are being increasingly used by private companies to challenge government regulations in Canada and elsewhere.

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Canadian taxpayers could be on hook for Quebec fracking decision 

An updated take on the same story.


Lone Pine says Quebec’s move last year to revoke its exploration permit on an underwater area near Trois-Rivières was “arbitrary, capricious and illegal.” The company says it has spent millions on a planned effort to free natural gas from shale rock under the river bottom. Lone Pine is not contesting Quebec’s right to restrict oil and gas activity but the fact the province stripped exploration licence holders of their permits without compensation. Under NAFTA rules, governments are free to expropriate, but can only do so for public purpose, with due process and paying full and fair market value for the permit, said Milos Barutciski, a Toronto lawyer with Bennett Jones who is representing the company. Mr. Barutciski said the move, enacted by the former Liberal government of Jean Charest through Quebec’s Bill 18, was made purely for “political reasons” without any basis in science. He cited a transcript of testimony by Quebec’s natural resource minister at the time, Nathalie Normandeau, at a committee hearing on the bill in which she said oil and gas industry arguments against the expropriation were “entirely legitimate” on a legal basis, but that the government’s arguments justifying its decision are more of a political nature. “Here you had no due process. You had no compensation” and the public reasons were questionable, Mr. Barutciski said in an interview Friday. “I think the issue of liability is pretty straightforward. The question isn’t whether we’ll get compensated. It’s how much.”

Officials with Quebec’s Ministry of Natural Resources did not respond to requests for comment. Trade rules provide for a 90-day cooling-off period during which the parties can attempt to resolve the matter before it goes to arbitration. That ends around Feb.8.


NAFTA’s arbitration rulings don’t override provincial or federal laws, meaning any decision wouldn’t have an impact on Quebec’s decision to limit oil and gas exploration. But it can provide remedy to the companies in the form of damages. There have been 33 cases filed by companies against the Canadian government since the trade agreement came into force in 1994. Of those, 10 have been resolved with companies winning damages in some and the government winning in others. Eight cases are ongoing and 15 are either withdrawn or inactive. Last year, Mesa Power Group, a renewable energy company owned by Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, filed a legal claim against Canada for violating trade rules related to Ontario’s green energy plan.


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Just saw this: Junex Wraps Up Seismic Gig at Anticosti Island

Junex has completed acquisition of 224 line-kilometers of new 2D seismic data on its solely-held, 233,275 acre-sized block of exploration permits on Anticosti Island. Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc., ("NSAI"), a firm of worldwide petroleum consultants based in Texas, had previously placed their Best Estimate of the undiscovered shale oil initially-in-place ("OIIP") volume for the Macasty Shale on Junex's acreage at 12.2 billion barrels.

If this project - and others - go ahead, I think there's potential to kill Anticosti as a wildlife refuge and tourist draw.

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Another: Pétrolia's interests in Gaspe Peninsula

In Quebec, oil resources are found in the east of the province, in the Gaspé region, on Anticosti Island, and perhaps in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Since it was founded in 2005, the Company has acquired leases that cover more than 15,000 km2, mainly in the Gaspé region and on Anticosti Island. These leases, essentially located in the Gaspé region and on Anticosti Island, cover more than 70% of Quebec’s land petroleum potential.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Natural Resources Canada: North American Tight Light Oil (fracking)

  • Horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracture stimulation, the same extraction technique so successful in allowing shale gas production, has proved to work equally well for releasing light crude oil trapped in low permeability (e.g., tight) shale, sandstone, or carbonate rock formations.
  • Tight oil production (also called shale oil in some cases) has reversed a decline in U.S. crude oil production and Western Canadian light oil production.
  • In Western Canada, potential and producing tight oil resources are found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  In Eastern Canada, the potential for tight oil resources has been claimed in Anticosti Island in Quebec and Western Newfoundland. 
  • Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

    I thought it was a temporary ban pending an environmental review, but I just came across this:

    Minister confirms ban on fracking in Quebec

    Gas leaks at wells that have already been fracking in Quebec led Arcand in January to question if the industry were in control of the situation.


    Good if true, but we must remain vigilant.

    Anticosti Island was not permanently inhabited, according to the documents I've read (and translated) but it was very much used, both by the Innu and Miqmac peoples. It had a great wealth of vegetable and animal foods from land and sea.

    (No, I don't have a copy of the documents, and couldn't give them to a third party anyway).

    The respective Indigenous peoples were working out how to congenially lay claim to these resources. I have no idea of the current status, but the Indigenous peoples who used this island and its resources from time immemorial must have a say.

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    New doc on fracking from a Canadian perspective - more info on the extra stories and related info tabs.  Premieres Thursday, February 7th!

    Catchfire Catchfire's picture

    Fantastic. Looks great, TB. Thanks for posting.

    Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

    I've made a note to watch.


    Thanks Timebandit. This looks great, in terms of facts .. and "storytelling".

    I'm sure you must have met Magnus Isaacson, non?

    Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

    I watched the American film GasLand -  which exposes fracking as pretty terrible procedure for the environment. There's another anti-fracking movie out called "Promised Land" which I haven't seen but oil company execs deride it as factually inaccurate.

    Timebandit Timebandit's picture

    Gasland made a big splash and is, in it's way, a good film. However, it's an activist film. Fox, the filmmaker, doesn't talk to anyone who could challenge his already formed conclusions. So in one sense, he makes his case very well, but there's some important stuff that's missing.

    I haven't seen Promised Land yet, but judging from the trailers, they may have also focused on the small picture to the detriment of the big picture.