MONTREAL, Dec. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec (FCCQ), the Quebec Employers Council (CPQ), the Quebec Oil and Gas Association (APGQ), the Quebec Manufacturers & Exporters (QME) and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) are asking the Quebec government to keep the door open on shale gas exploitation. The group believes the government should complete its strategic analysis with a robust review of economic outcomes and benefits, in the context of the need to create wealth and economic growth and going beyond a simple cost/benefit analysis from an organization whose mission is to assess environmental impacts. For the group, the BAPE doesn't have the expertise to decide on these issues.
Before making a final decision, the government must be aware of the full potential of the industrial development that would be created with local production, including the associated economic benefits and also the risks tied to a lack of diversification of energy sources. Quebec is at odds with most jurisdictions on this particular strategic issue. Energy can't be treated as other industries; it must be measured in terms of economic stability as well as energy supply security.
The statement made yesterday by the Prime Minister is premature, as it is closing the door on an important development opportunity. It comes at a time when the government is seeking new revenues to avoid having to cut more deeply in its spending. No economy has the means to close the door so rapidly and definitely on an industry whose development, although preliminary, is so fundamental for the future, especially for Quebec. This is even more true when we recognize that Quebec has, for decades, repeatedly demonstrated its ability to exploit its natural resources responsibly for the benefit of the whole population.
Moreover, the above associations recognize that the debate surrounding the issue had a false start. They are asking the government to include in its future energy policy the principles that should guide companies who are seeking social acceptability over projects. Promoters should be able to work within a clear and predictable framework when working with the public and their partners in minimizing risks to the environment.
The Quebec Oil and Gas Association, Oil and Gas Services Association of Quebec and likewise the above associations have all participated in the BAPE and ÉES processes. They have collaborated in good faith whenever they were asked for. We now expect the same openness from the Quebec Prime Minister.
Eric Tetrault, President, Quebec Manufacturers & Exporters
Françoise Bertrand, OC, CQ, CEO, Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec
Yves-Thomas Dorval, CEO, Quebec Employers Council
Martine Hébert, Senior VP and national spokesperson, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Michael Binnion, President, Quebec Oil and Gas Association
SOURCE: Quebec Manufacturers & Exporters
For further information: Josée Mercier, Quebec Manufacturers & Exporters, T. 514 866.7774, poste 2125, C. 514.771-8036, firstname.lastname@example.org; Camilla Sironi, Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec, T. 514 844.9571 ext. 3227, C. 514 647-4745, email@example.com; Benjamin Laplatte, Quebec Employers Council, T. 514 288.5161, ext. 235, firstname.lastname@example.org; Amélie Desrosiers, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, T. 514 861.3234, ext. 224, C. 514 817.0228, email@example.com; David B. Lefebvre, Quebec Oil and Gas Association T. 418 261.2941, firstname.lastname@example.org