Protestors march against oil pipeline project in Cacouna

TransCanada will be building a port in Cacouna to export and sell crude internationally. However, the project has been subject to criticism, with environmental activists concerned that the drilling will be a threat to endangered species in the area (such as beluga whales).

The Canadian company wants to create a mega-pipeline to carry crude oil from Alberta to Cacouna and a port to export the product.

Quebec’s environment ministry has asked TransCanada to not use construction methods that will put the beluga population at risk.

On Saturday hundreds of people were in Cacouna protesting the construction of the oil shipping port.

An injunction earlier this month put a hold on the drilling work, however, the injunction expires on October 16.

Simon Côté, the spokesman for Mouvement Stop Oléoduc, anti-pipeline group based in Kamouraska, said:

“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,”

If the suspension is pushed further then the company won’t be able to propose their project to the National Energy Board until next year.

On Friday the environment ministry has demanded that the Alberta based oil company TransCanada reduce the volume of its operations before carrying on with seismic tests at the St. Lawrence River near Cacouna. It also gave the company a warning for breaking the limit on the number of boats it uses to transport its employees.

The ministry sent a letter to Elisabeth Swanson, TransCanada’s Associate General Counsel, stating that TransCanada had agreed to ensure that the exploratory drilling volume would be no more than 120 decibels 540 meters away from the drilling location. However, government inspectors have measured the noise to reach 120 decibels 2.7 km away from the source.

TransCanada says it is following the province’s demands.