Monday, 10 September 2007

Fight against LNG ports to Spread to Montreal from Lower St. Lawrence

Opponents to two liquid natural gas ports proposed for the St. Lawrence down river from Quebec City are turning up the heat. This morning they’re announcing demonstrations in Montreal on September 22, as they attempt to widen the discussion about the LNG facilities, one to be built across from Quebec City near Lévis, and the other, at Grand Cacouna. Both projects were given green lights by the provincial environmental review agency, the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE)
last spring.

André Bélisle of the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA) and a spokesperson for the coalition of environmental groups said Sunday that big questions surround the projects. These include just who will benefit from them and whether Quebec really needs the natural gas. The need for energy efficiency as well as the environmental dangers of LNG ports must be considered.

Montreal is a good 200 kilometers up river from the projects, but their development is “too important for debate about them to be confined to the immediate neighborhood,” the opponents say. That’s the reason for shifting the focus of protest to Montreal.

The anti-LNG project demonstration will come the Saturday after the federal by election in Outremont, where former Quebec environment minister Thomas Mulcair has been waging a very green campaign as New Democratic Party candidate. Even though the NDP has only once won a seat in Quebec, some of the betting money is going on Mulcair to win this time. If he does, it will reflect, in part, the concern of urban folk about what we’re doing to the world.

Please note, by the way, that the Saturday Photo of windmills on Park Avenue was taken a block away from Mulcair's campaign headquarters and three blocks from Emmanuel Cosgrove's LEED platinum house. There may be a fair amount of asphalt here, but it's the ecologically-friendly kind that comes with urban density.

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