Projects like Haldimand 4 will probably be banned translation January 30, 2013 by Amie du Richelieu of Gaspé obligerait Québec à trancher by Paul Journet in La Presse hard copy, January 25 2013, Business Section, Page 4.
Quebec – Projects like Petrolia’s Haldimand 4 well, at about 350 meters from the nearest home in Gaspé, could soon be banned. That is what the Minister of Sustainable Development Yves-François Blanchet told La Presse. He plans to look at the protection of sources of drinking water and groundwater. “If that had been done before Petrolia got it’s permits, there would probably never had been any Haldimand 4. (…) The question will be cleared up on a relatively short term. I won’t presume on anything, but I would be very surprised to see the conclusion be that it’s acceptable to drill at 350 meters from a home.” he says. We don’t know if a new bill will be tabled. “We evaluate the best way to settle this” says the minister. He will take into account many parameters, like the proximity to artesian wells and sources of drinking water or the risks of having a spill.
Faced with the ire of the municipal board of Gaspé, Petrolia has had to “temporarily put back” it’s exploratory drilling at the Haldimand 4 well that could hold around 8 millions of barrels of oil. The company holds a drilling permit since last summer, without the need of fracking or hydraulic stimulation. But Gaspé still feared for it’s drinking water. The town board adopted in December a bylaw to protect it’s water, and thus stop the drilling. Petrolia says the bylaw goes beyond the powers of the municipality and violates it’s rights legitimately obtained. Mr Blanchet believes that the Gaspé bylaw is legitimate and valid. Petrolia’s permit is also, he recognizes. He will not say which one would have precedence in court. Since the beginning, he would rather there be an understanding rather than a legal battle. … Blanchet thinks that Petrolia made a good decision. “Social acceptability is important, and the citizens of Gaspé have expressed themselves very clearly. … [Emphasis added]