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Gazoduq pipeline and Energie Saguenay terminal, Quebec, Canada


A new natural gas pipeline from Northern Ontario to Saguenay quebec is being proposed to transport fracked gas from Alberta to the east coast of Canada for export overseas. Communities and environmental groups along the pipeline route are mobilizing against these two projects based on concerns about ecological and marine impacts, climate impacts and in defense of Indigenous rights.

The proposed Gazoduq Project (Project) would consist of the construction and operation of a 750 km underground pipeline between northeastern Ontario and Saguenay, Quebec (Gazoduq, n.d.). The route has not been confirmed yet, but will likely cross about 40 different municipalities. The pipeline would transport gas to Énergie Saguenay, "a company that was granted a license from the National Energy Board  to build a facility that will liquify the gas before exporting it to potential markets in Europe and Asia" (Press Canadienne, 2018).

The project is "currently in the planning stages with construction scheduled to begin in 2022. Gazoduq plans to have the pipeline in service by 2024" (Press Canadienne, 2018).

Gazoduq’s president, Louis Bergeron, was previously vice-president of the Energy East pipeline project that was fiercely resisted in Quebec and then abandoned by TransCanada in October 2017 (Press Canadienne, 2018). The premier of Quebec is in full support of the project, has endorsed the project's social acceptability and is in direct contact with 15 lobbyists for the company.

The federal government will have the last word on the project.


2014: The first mention of the natural gas pipeline was made in Quebec media (Dansereau, 2014).

2015: Project announced. Consultation with Innu and others begins.

Aug 2018: The Quebec-based NGO Coule Pas Chez Nous begins campaign about natural gas. Six different collectives in the Regions in Quebec are formed.

November 2018: Official announcement of the project, official consultation starts. Coalition Fjord began mobilizing againt both the pipeline and the liquification plant.

2019: Both of the pipeline and the liquification plant projects in review for environmental impacts and community consultations. National Energy Board, BAP involved at different levels.

January 2019: A large coalition of community groups and environmental organizations launch an open letter  "calling on the Quebec government to require a single comprehensive environmental assessment of the Gazoduq / Énergie Saguenay project. This would assess everything from the construction of the gas pipeline to the marine terminal, the gas processing plant to liquefied natural gas (LNG). The groups consider that it is only with such an overall assessment that we will be able to judge the impacts of this project on the Fjord, its biodiversity (especially on belugas) and on the climate by calculating the greenhouse effect (GHG) generated by the entire project, upstream and downstream" (Greenpeace, 2019).

February 2019: Gazoduc Inc and GNL-Québec presented their 1,100-page environmental impact study to the federal and provincial governments (Van Dyk, 2019)

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Gazoduq pipeline and Energie Saguenay terminal, Quebec, Canada
State or province:Ontario and Quebec
(municipality or city/town)Between north-Eastern Ontario and Saguenay, Quebec
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict: 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Shale gas fracking
Oil and gas refining
Specific commodities:Natural Gas

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

The Gazoduq Project consists of the construction and operation of a 750 km underground pipeline between northeastern Ontario and Saguenay, Quebec. The Project will supply natural gas from Western Canada to its primary customer Énergie Saguenay, the proposed natural gas liquefaction plant (Gazoduq, n.d.)

GNL Quebec has been developing the Énergie Saguenay Project since 2014, involving the construction of a natural gas liquefaction complex at Port Saguenay. The goal is to export 11 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year, sourced from western Canada. The Project includes liquefaction equipment, storage facilities, and marine shipping infrastructures. The Project is worth an estimated US$7.2 billion and is slated to start operations in 2025 (Energie Saguenay, n.d.).

"GNL Quebec inc. is a Quebec company that was created in 2014 as a result of the desire of two US investment firms, Breyer Capital and Freestone International LLC, to position themselves in the global market for liquid natural gas" (Hassan, 2018).

From extraction to export, these two projects combined will generate around 7.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.

Project area:4,500,000
Level of Investment:4 500 000 000.00
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:11/2018
Company names or state enterprises:Gazoduq from Canada - Proponent
GNL Québec (GNL) from Canada - GNL Quebec has been developing the Énergie Saguenay Project since 2014, involving the construction of a natural gas liquefaction complex at Port Saguenay.
Relevant government actors:Quebec Government

Ministry of Environment

Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources

Premier of Quebec

Federal Government

Transport maritime

Federal Minister of Environment

Minister of Energy

Natural Resource Canada

National Energy Board

BAP (Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement)

Wendat de Quebec First Nation

Atikamekw First Nation

Cree First Nations

Anishnaabe First Nations

Malécites First Nation

Innu First Nations
International and Finance Institutions Breyer Capital - Invested in GNL's project
Freestone International - Invested in GNL's project
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Coule Pas Chez Nous

Coalition Fjord

SNAP Québec

Eau Secours

WWF Canada

Mouvement citoyen UNEplanète

Nature Québec


Centre québécois du droit en environnement (CQDE)

Fondation David Suzuki

Action Boréale

Green Peace

Action Boreal in Abitibi

Gazoduq Parlons-En

Collectif citoyen Littoralement innaceptable

Collectif du Bas Saguenay

Collectif de Sainte-Rose-du-Nord

Collectif du Lac

Collectif de la Batture

Collectif de l'Anse à Pelletier

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Political parties - Quebec Solidaire, PQ, Green Party (both fed and prov)
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Participating in consultation, Attending official meetings, Fundraising.

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Potential: Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil erosion, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsIncreased fracking impacts in Alberta

Impacts to Belugas in Fjord and River

Impact to bat habitat

17 endangered species would be impacted by projects
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsImpacts to tradition medicine

Health impacts of natural gas (Cancer, etc)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of livelihood
Potential: displacement, Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactsLoss of ecotourism value, income.

Potential impact to farmers


Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Strengthening of participation
Development of alternatives:

New networks of resistance are being created.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Most of the local governments have said yes to the project because of jobs.

Activists in small rural communities have been targeted and harrased by local people.

Resistance is growing, the project in under review and the outcome is still unknown.

Sources and Materials

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

(Gazoduq, n.d). Company website

(Press Canadienne, 2018). Company-plans-to-build-natural-gas-pipeline-between-ontario-and-saguenay. Montreal Gazette

(Greenpeace, 2019) Un mouvement se lève pour réclamer une évaluation globale du projet Gazoduq/Énergie Saguenay

(Energie Saguenay, n.d) Project Summary. Project Website

(Hassan, 2018) Gazoduq : excitement for the liquid natural gas market. PolyFinances

(Dansereau, 2014) Projet de 7 G$ au Saguenay pour exporter du gaz naturel liquéfié. Les Affaires


(Van dyk, 2019) Énergie Saguenay vows to be world's cleanest liquid natural gas plant. CBC

Other documents

Gazoduq route map Map sourced from:

Belugas The Énergie Saguenay project will include shipping liquified natural gas in tankers through St. Lawrence Estuary, home to an estimated 900 endangered beluga whales (Sourced from

Coalition Fjord sound the climate alarm Sourced from:

Meta information

Contributor:Jen Gobby and Anouk Nadeau-Farley (Coule Pas Chez Nous) and Adrien Guibert-Barthez (Coalition Fjord)
Last update13/03/2019



Gazoduq route map

Map sourced from:

Coalition Fjord sound the climate alarm

Sourced from:


The Énergie Saguenay project will include shipping liquified natural gas in tankers through St. Lawrence Estuary, home to an estimated 900 endangered beluga whales (Sourced from