Farmers stand up in front of the gas

News 15 December, 2017
  • Photo Stevens LeBlanc
    Denis Paquet, a dairy producer in Sainte-Croix, Lotbinière, sucks to be expropriated, if the gas company which holds rights in his basement, decides to dig wells.

    Anne Caroline Desplanques

    Friday, December 15, 2017 01:00

    Friday, December 15, 2017 01:00

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    Are concerned about losing their livelihood in the hands of the oil and gas industry, the farmers claim to block the cancellation of all permits to explore for hydrocarbons on their lands throughout the province.

    The resolution was unanimously adopted at the annual congress of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA).

    As a single man, over 300 delegates stood up to ask the government “to withdraw the rights to underground (claims) granted to oil companies” that provides for the Law on hydrocarbons.

    Masters in us

    “If this law comes into force without the government withdrew the permits on our land, we are no longer masters of our own house. This is very serious “, growls Denis Paquet, a dairy producer.

    Quebec has tabled in September four draft regulations associated with the hydrocarbons Law, which have been subject to a public consultation. Their adoption will give the green light to the entry into force of the law.

    “People are not aware that their land is “claimés”, but everything that follows the St. Lawrence river to Rivière-du-Loup, it is “claimé”, ” warns Isabelle Bouffard, to the UPA.

    This map shows the permitted oil and gas exploration in force. These are real property rights that allow the holders to request the expropriation of the inhabitants if they oppose the operation.
    Source : Ministry of Energy and natural Resources

    The companies hold rights in real estate on the basement of 53 000 km2 of the territory of québec, calculates the Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec. Thanks to these permits acquired for 10 ¢ per hectare, the companies may explore the sub-soil without asking permission to anyone.


    And, if they get their hands on a deposit, they will be able to expropriate the owner if he refuses to sell his land.

    The farmers will be the first affected, according to nadia : “The claims are predominantly in the agricultural zone. If the operation must be done, it is at us that it’s going to happen, not in the city. “

    In Mr. Paquet, Sainte-Croix, Lotbinière, it is the company’s alberta-Questerre, a partner of the Spanish multinational Repsol, which is eyeing the sub-soil.

    It provides for a pilot project of shale gas operations, involving the injection of sand, water and chemicals at high pressure into the rock to extract the resource.

    “There is a risk of contamination of our drinking water in the future, for us and our farms “, is afraid of Mr. Paquet.

    In 2014, the Office of public hearings on the environment has indicated that the chemicals injected into the rock to the fracture can disperse up to 600 m into the soil, contaminating the groundwater on their passage.

    However, Québec also plans to allow companies to do fracking within 400 m of the aquifers.

    Nothing to reassure Solange Lemay, a producer of maple syrup from Lotbinière, who has just sold his dairy farm to his son.

    “We are agriculture and we lived well for four generations. We don’t need that oil, ” she said.

    The Montreal economic Institute believes that farmers “are missing a golden opportunity” in opposition to drilling on their land, because companies are willing to pay them pensions.

    But the decision of Ms. Lemay is without appeal. “We’re not going to give in to an annuity in the short term, “scraper” our land for generations to come, ” slice-t-it.