NEWS
09/18/2016 17:18 EDT | Updated 09/19/2017 01:12 EDT

Groups fight to stop bill allowing oil, gas exploration

The Parti Québécois, Québec Solidaire, Greenpeace and community groups held a news conference Sunday to denounce the Liberals' Bill 106 which would implement Quebec's clean energy plan as well as open the province to oil and gas exploration.

The united front follows fears that Bill 106 will be passed into law shortly after the next parliamentary session starts on Tuesday.

The proposed law would create Energy Transition Quebec, an agency charged with implementing the government's ambitious clean energy plans.

It would also put in place the Petroleum Resources Act, which lays out the government's plan to oversee the sustainable development of oil resources.

Carole Dupuis from the hydrocarbon awareness group, the Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec, said they want the government to separate the bill in two — one for oil and gas exploration, and the other for Quebec's greenhouse gas emissions.

"This bill will allow hydraulic fracturing all over Quebec," Dupuis told CBC News.

"We know that's a very dangerous thing to do."

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Pierre Arcand said in a written statement that the objective of the bill is not to promote oil and gas development, but to help regulate the industry.

Québec Solidaire MNA Manon Massé said this bill tramples on Indigenous rights.

"I've spoken with Indigenous groups and they are livid that they are being treated as if their territory doesn't belong to them," Massé said.

Greenpeace believes it doesn't make sense that the government is combining what should be two bills.

"What they are trying to do is hide the fossil fuel law in a bigger project," Greenpeace's Patrick Bonin said.

He added that "people have said 'no' to Anticosti shale gas. We're quite scared."