I want to congratulate Pauline Marios who has done well to lead her party back in to a minority government with 54 seats. Mr. Charest once again showed he is a great campaigner and did better than many pundits thought to lead a strong opposition of 50 seats. Finally for Mr. Legault to come out the gates with his ‘new party’ and win 19 seats is also impressive.
I have already been asked a few times, what do the election results mean for our business in Quebec. Questerre has always said it would work with any government Quebecers choose..
With negative rhetoric during the campaign, all the political parties sought to curry favour with the 60% of Quebecers who state they are in favour of a ‘shale gas moratorium’. Far fewer than 60% of Quebecers know that shale gas and natural gas are virtually the same thing. So perhaps it not a surprise that at the same time, all political parties also indicated they could be in favour of developing natural gas in Quebec.
The Parti Quebecois is in favour if a satisfactory environmental study says it can be done safely and Quebec gets it fair share.
The Liberal party is in favour if the current environmental study concludes it can be developed safely and Quebec gets more.
Quebec Solidaire is in favour if the project is nationalized and it can be done safely.
Only the CAQ firmly stated that the technology is not ready yet. Somewhat strangely the CAQ is in favour of oil projects that use the same technology. One might infer if environmental studies determine the technology is in fact ready that they could be in favour too. Especially since the CAQ says Quebec needs more entrepreneurs and moratoriums are not exactly entrepreneur friendly.
Another positive sign is the Government investment arm has been investing in local shale oil players. Both Petrolia and Junex have announced they are proceeding with shale oil wells backed by Quebec Government money.
We all know oil has added environmental considerations and is not as simple to develop as natural gas. So Quebec going forward with oil exploration is another sign of budding social acceptability in Quebec for hydrocarbon development.
We might not have to wait too long after the election because the condition of favourable environmental reports has already been met. Below is a list of dozens of independent studies confirming that modern natural gas (and oil) development can be done safely. You can access a library of studies at this link also: No Hot Air.
We just need 60% of Quebecers to realize there is no difference between shale gas and natural gas. I am hopeful the new government of Ms. Marois will take over from the activists and do a great job of communicating what local natural gas development is. The last government made a splashy video promoting the plan nord. Could we be so lucky as to get a video explaining a plan sud?
List of Independent Studies:
Correction: Junex has not announced that it is drilling oil shale wells with Government funding.