Hundreds protest TransCanada pipeline port in Cacouna
Court injunction to halt drilling expires Oct. 16
Hundreds of people opposing TransCanada's pipeline project were out in Cacouna, Que. on Saturday for a march against the construction of an oil shipping port.
Environmental activists from Montreal, Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Rimouski went to the town on the banks of the St. Lawrence River to send a message to the Government of Quebec — that they do not want seismic testing to continue.
The groups say they are concerned that the drilling threatens endangered species in the area, such as beluga whales.
A Superior Court injunction earlier this month prevented that drilling work from continuing, but the injunction expires on October 16.
"We are going to try even more to postpone again with any way possible to push back the date when TransCanada will be able to go back and drill," said Simon Côté, the spokesman for Mouvement Stop Oléoduc, anti-pipeline group based in Kamouraska.
Côté said that if the suspension is pushed even further, TransCanada will not be able to present their project to the National Energy Board for another year.
He said the protest is the biggest demonstration on the Lower St. Lawrence region, since the anti-tuition fee hike demonstrations more than two years ago.
Quebec's environment ministry has asked TransCanada to build the port using construction methods that do no affect the beluga population and other wildlife.
Friday, the ministry demanded the company take further measures to reduce noise at the work site. It also told the company to further restrict boat traffic in the port, to limit potential disturbance to the belugas.
TransCanada says it is complying with the province's demands and expects to resume seismic testing next Thursday, after the temporary injunction expires.