A group of Quebec farmers just left Calgary on Thursday to go back to Quebec. This was the second tour organized by the Oil and Gas Services Association of Quebec and while some things were the same, other things were very different.
Last year participants said their impressions had changed a lot but they weren’t yet ready to support oil and gas without more research.
After this tour participants were openly supportive of the idea of oil and gas development in Quebec. Here are some interesting quotes.
“I just wanted to have a real idea of oil and gas production, and how it is really done. I wanted to know what it really means to have a well on your land and what could be the problems related to it long-term, and what the feelings about it are for farmers.” Francois Tousignant,
“It is true that the impact of hydraulic fracturing on the water table is probably one of the main concerns Quebec farmers have with shale gas development, my own concerns were largely answered during this week’s tour when I saw what they do to protect the farmers’ water. I would permit wells on my land.” Sabrina Caron
There has also been a big change in Quebec over the last year.
The Government has recently brought in new regulations opening the door to hydrocarbon development. The Government is clear that it is moving cautiously and will monitor activities closely, as they should.
This is a big step forward for social acceptability in Quebec. It recognizes that importing billions of dollars in foreign oil is neither good for the economy or the environment. If local production is good for tomatoes why not oil and gas too?
Recently Jean Francois Cliche, a writer for La Presse wrote ‘it seems more and more that we were wrong in 2010 to make so much noise about fracking and water…’
It seems most people are just like Quebec farmers. The more information they have, the more confident they are that they can manage the risks and benefits.