MONTREAL, January 27, 2021 – The Quebec Environmental Law Centre (CQDE) has taken action in a legal proceeding between the Quebec Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the oil company Gaspé Énergies Inc. The company challenged the Ministry’s refusal to grant drilling authorization for the Galt pool in Gaspesie, and requested that section 23 of the Regulation respecting petroleum exploration, production and storage on land be struck down.

This section aims at regulating and limiting the possibility of conducting petroleum exploration, production and storage activities within 1,000 m of a body of water. The CQDE is highly concerned about the attempt to have this important provision struck down.

“This conflict raises serious public interest issues,” says Geneviève Paul, executive director of the CQDE. “The decision could have a significant impact on environmental protection and the applicable legal framework. We are acting to ensure that a public perspective on this matter be heard.”

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Additional information

Gaspé Énergies Inc. is a Quebec-registered company whose majority shareholder, Ressources Utica, is funded by Lansdowne Partners, a former shareholder of the Alberta company Questerre, which is also attempting to have existing regulatory provisions protecting the territory invalidated.

Like in the Questerre case (whose proceedings are currently suspended), the CQDE stands against relaxing the regulatory framework regarding petroleum development and insists that the intent of the law is oil and gas activities must be compatible with principles of sustainable development. The CQDE actions aim to ensure the right of Quebecers to live in a healthy environment in which biodiversity is preserved.