Montreal, Quebec – A new poll released yesterday shows that more than 70 per cent of Quebec respondents say a proposal to transport oil by pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to Montreal must be delayed until stronger environmental laws are in place, to control greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the tar sands.
The poll, conducted by Montreal-based public opinion research company CROP, also found that 70 per cent did not agree with the federal government’s proposal that tar sands’ companies produce fewer emissions per barrel of oil, but be allowed to increase their total emissions as oil production grows.
Other findings showed that 58 per cent of respondents said the position of the political parties on tackling global warming pollution from the tar sands, and from other large sources of GHG, would influence how they vote. Of respondents, 43 per cent said they considered activity in the tar sands to be negative overall, while 28 per cent said it was positive overall.
“Quebec is taking some smart, effective measures to help solve the climate crisis, while the tar sands are causing emissions levels in this country to explode,” said Steven Guilbeault, of environmental group Equiterre. “It’s clear Quebec wants to be part of the answer, not the problem, which is why we must say no to Alberta’s dirty oil.”
Equiterre, along with ForestEthics and Environmental Defence, sponsored a full-page advertisement in La Presse, depicting a tar sands bulldozer menacing Quebec’s Chateau Frontenac hotel and downtown Montreal. The advertisement criticized the new “Trailbreaker” proposal by Enbridge that would transport more than 200,000 barrels of tar sands oil to Montreal per day.
“The tar sands are holding Quebec and the rest of Canada hostage by taking us all in the wrong direction on global warming,” said Matt Price of Environmental Defence. “Why should other regions support tar sands infrastructure until emissions begin to go down?”
Suncor, one of the tar sands companies, projects that in 2012 it will increase its emissions by approximately 15 million tonnes, about the same amount as Quebec’s target to reduce emissions.