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Montreal, February 25, 2011 – The Ecumenical Network for Justice and Peace (ROJeP) expresses its deep concern about the exploration and exploitation of shale gas, and its refusal to give in to the pressures put by the industry lobbies on public decisions. We do so because of the dangers posed to the environment and to the health of Quebec citizens. It is our ethical conviction that the right of people to their wellbeing and to the health of their territory should take precedence over privileges granted to industry by the state. To show contempt to the land is to despise the people that inhabit this land. “We are together in this, the Earth and I, flank to flank” (Gaston Miron, L’Homme rapaillé).
An increasingly well-documented and broad consensus points to the many problems and major hazards of the exploitation of shale gas: its use and pollution of millions of litres of water injected into the earth; toxic chemicals of which only 40-60 % are recovered; contaminants leaking into the water table; hazardous gases such as radon and methane; industrial intrusions into the best agricultural land; and delays in the development of non-fossil alternative energies. Quebec citizens ought to be made aware that this industry will be profitable only if it is intensive. A major change in the management of our common resources has been made without notice or adequate public debate. We share the indignation of a growing number of citizens and organizations about this lack of transparency. We deplore the government’s refusal of a democratic demand for a moratorium, one that would demonstrate commitment to the wellbeing of the people and the integrity of their territory. Instead of recognizing the possible and known risks of shale gas, industry and government have tried to push forward blindly in the name of so-called “economic development”, whose benefits fall first and foremost to corporations and investors, not to the people and not to our land. This is why we are calling for the immediate cessation of exploration activities and support the demand for a moratorium to allow time for a proper consideration of the facts. This is all the more urgent considering that analyses of shale gas impacts in other areas have led to a complete ban.
Quebec has the potential to be a world leader in renewable energy, but needs the political will to do so. The economy should serve humanity and the earth that is our home. Decisions should be made with communities’ free, prior and informed consent. Réseau oecuménique Justice et Paix (ROJeP) is composed of organizations rooted in the Christian faith and committed to promoting justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

 

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ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS
1. Bureau de justice sociale des Soeurs de Ste Anne (BJS-SSA)
2. Carrefour de participation, ressourcement et formation (CPRF)
3. Centre culturel chrétien de Montréal (CCCM)
4. Centre de formation sociale Marie-Gérin-Lajoie
5. Centre justice et foi
6. Comité de solidarité sociale Sainte-Croix
7. Comité Justice Québec de la Conférence religieuse canadienne
8. Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine (CDHAL)
9. Commission justice, paix et intégrité de la création (Petites Soeurs de l’Assomption)
10. Conférence religieuse canadienne (CRC)
11. Conseil des églises pour la justice et la criminologie
12. Développement et paix
13. Fondation Béati
14. Groupe de théologie contextuelle du Québec (GTCQ)
15. Groupe Solidarité Justice
16. Groupe Solidarité Justice SNJM (Soeurs des Saints Noms de Jésus et Marie)
17. Jeunesse du Monde
18. Justice écologie tendresse (JET)
19. L’Entraide missionnaire
20. Mouvement des Travailleurs Chrétiens (MTC)
21. Pastorale Sociale du Diocèse de Montréal
22. Pastorale sociale du Diocèse de Saint-Hyacinthe
23. Pastorale sociale du Diocèse de Valleyfield
24. Green Church Program – Canadian Centre for Ecumenism
25. Service de promotion humaine du Diocèse de Saint-Jean-Longueuil
26. Société religieuse des amis (Quaker)
27. Table diocésaine des agents et agentes de pastorale sociale de secteurs (Montréal)

 

MEDIA CONTACT :
JULIE SABOURAULT
ROJEP STAFF PERSON
CELL. : 438 764 0302
INFO@JUSTICEPAIX.ORG