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Press Release

Shale Gas


Montréal, March 8, 2011. – Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Pierre Arcand announced that he has released the report issued by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) on the sustainable development of the shale gas industry in Québec. In so doing, the minister announced that he looks favourably on the BAPE report and will immediately take action on its main recommendation and move forward with the strategic environmental assessment.

“The commissioners have produced a rigorous report that sheds valuable light on this issue. I welcome its main recommendations, and I can state that it will guide our future actions,” declared Minister Arcand.

The main recommendation: a strategic environmental assessment

In its report, the BAPE puts forth 43 observations and issues 101 opinions that are chiefly addressed to the Government of Québec. These recommendations target three main directions for intervention:

  • Address the knowledge deficit within the industry, government and the general population.
  • Encourage the social acceptability of this development through innovation in the area of public hearings and dialogue with the various government and regional actors that are involved.
  • Strengthen current regulatory provisions.

In order to immediately follow up on the report’s main recommendation (move forward with a strategic environmental assessment on shale gas), the minister announced that a committee of experts and representatives from government, municipalities and industry would be soon created.

The BAPE recommends that development be controlled during the strategic environmental assessment process. Transitional regulations will be required, and will be adopted in the short term. New drilling will only be authorized when required to advance scientific knowledge for the strategic environmental assessment.

“The government is committed to ensuring that this industry develops properly, or else close down. The people of Québec need to know that we will abide no compromise on matters of health, safety or respect for the environment, and that we will take all the time needed to ensure that these conditions are fulfilled,” the minister concluded.

Highlights of the report (French)

- 30 -


Sarah Shirley
Press Officer
Cabinet of the Minister
of Sustainable Development,
Environment and Parks
Tel. 418 521-3911



Media Relations
Ministère du Développement durable,
de l'Environnement et des Parcs
Tel. 418 521-3991



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