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The Quebec Liberal Party Under the Influence of the Private Sector
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Written by Paul Bibeau, citizen of Repentigny
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 I first learned that this government launched 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 in 2015. We recall that at that summit, Quebec and Canada presented themselves as as defenders of the environment, ready to put in place measures to combat the increase in greenhouse gases by limiting our domestic production.
In addition, M. Couillard openly disavowed the exploration which was supposed to begin on Anticosti Island by saying that the project was not his but rather belonged to the previous government. A few months later, it is apparent that M. Couillard is favourable to the exploration not only on Anticosti, but also anywhere in Quebec where the oil companies wish to drill.
If Law 106 is adopted in its present form, oil companies will be allowed 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 their 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 face 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against the Energy East project and against shale gas exploration, the government is charging ahead with these outdated projects.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, the government has not even respected the conclusions of the BAPE (Bureau D'audiences Publiques sur L'environnement), which researched this topic recently. Law 106 goes against these recommendations.
As one can see, this government has taken the side of private industry to the detriment of the entire population it represents. By making cuts to public services, the Liberal Party 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.
In my opinion, the future of Quebec rests in the development of renewable energies, which will create jobs and respect for our environment. We have everything that is needed to build a future without oil, but it is up to us to take back our democracy in order to preserve our water, land, and air for the generations that follow.
About the poster
Member since December 1969