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Montreal - This morning organizers with Climate Justice Montreal set up a hydraulic fracturing, gas shale extraction site outside of the Queen Elizabeth hotel, site of the Quebec Association of Oil and Gas Producers annual conference.
"Extracting natural gas from shale deposits is bottom of the barrel dirty energy,” said Catherine Thibault, an organizer with Climate Justice Montreal." We have seen what shale gas has done across the United States and Canada; poisoned water, toxic air, and destroyed lands that leaves everyone and everything sick, we need to stop this before it comes to Quebec."
Organizers dressed as construction workers built a tripod fracking rig and hung a banner that read "Les Gaz de Schiste Sacrifient L'air, L'eau et la Vie sur Terre" (Shale Gas Extraction Sacrifices Air, Water and Land) while others represented the communities that would be directly impacted by extraction, sick and dying.
Presently, oil and gas companies have been granted over 450 permits for exploration and extraction in Quebec, many of which are for shale gas extraction, through the process of Hydraulic Fracturing or "Fracking". Fracking uses over 596 chemicals - many of which are known carcinogens and poisons - mixed with hundreds of litres of water and sand, the majority of which ends up in groundwater, soil and the air.
Organizers also pointed out the danger this poses to the entire St.Lawrence watershed.
“All of our communities are dependent on this river,” Thibault explained. “Shale gas threatens the clean and safe drinking water of every person in Quebec, and that should be reason enough to stop it now and forever.”