The new Parti Quebecois government hasnâ€™t wasted any time hinting about a long-term ban on the shale gas industry.
Quebecâ€™s new natural-resources minister, Martine Ouellet, says she doesnâ€™t believe the controversial method of extracting natural gas from shale, known as â€śfracking,â€ť can ever be done safely.
She made the remarks Thursday on her way into her first cabinet meeting, less than 24 hours after she was named to cabinet. â€śI donâ€™t foresee a day when there will be technology that will allow safe exploitation (of shale gas),â€ť Ouellet said in Quebec City.
â€śOur position is very clear: we want a complete moratorium, not only on exploitation but also on exploration of shale gas. We havenâ€™t changed our minds.â€ť
Under political pressure, the former Liberal government halted shale-gas exploration last year in the fledgling industry to conduct more studies on the ecological risks. The environmental-review process was expected to take a couple of years.