Quebec nixes LNG plant that would have carried Western Canadian natural gas to overseas markets

The Quebec government has refused to approve construction of a natural gas facility in the Saguenay, north of Quebec City, following years of opposition from citizens, Indigenous communities and environmental experts.

The decision, announced today by Environment Minister Benoit Charette, is all but certain to halt a $14-billion project that would have carried natural gas from Western Canada across Quebec to the Saguenay port, and then shipped it to markets overseas.

Premier François Legault’s government had initially been a proponent of the project.

But in March, the province’s independent environmental review agency issued a report that was critical of the plans to build a plant and marine terminal in the Saguenay.

The project was likely to increase greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by eight million tones annually, the agency concluded.

Last month, federal environmental agencies determined the project, which would involve large tankers transiting along the Saguenay River, threatened beluga whales.

And last week, three Innu communities vowed to oppose the project because of the negative impact it would have on the environment.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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