This is what Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said in response to a question from the opposition in the House of Representatives. Quebec Solidere member Ruba Ghazal asked him to terminate all public investment in the oil and gas exploration company.
In 2017, under the liberal government, Quebec invested $ 8.4 million in the GALT project, becoming Gaspé Énergies’ business partner in exploring the site and drilling Well No. 6 near Gaspé. These amounts are in addition to the shares owned by Ressources Québec.
However, the company failed to obtain a drilling license from the Minister of Natural Resources and opposes Jonathan Julian’s decision in court.
In particular, Gaspé Énergies raises new regulations regarding hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, including a ban on drilling within 1,000 meters of an aqueous environment.
By questioning Minister Fitzgibbon, Representative Ghazal emphasized the paradox of the ministry that, with its investments, indirectly funds the prosecution of a company against its government.
The Minister of Economy confirmed that his government had inherited an undesirable situation.
We do not want to encourage the continuation of the program, this is clear, and we will reduce the negative impacts on Kebikers.
Pierre Fitzgibbon has also admitted that he wants Resources Quebec to pull out of the project, but buyers have been scarce.
I’d like to pull the balls, but this is not a bank. There is no such thing as a buyer.
The content of the agreement
Environment Vert-Plus spokesperson Pascal Bergeron, who has followed the court hearings, wants to announce the agreement between Gaspé Énergies and Ressources Québec.
Prove that it is absolutely impossible to withdraw money from this agreement. It should not be too harmful to the government of Quebec Bergeron explains.
An Environnement Vert-Plus spokesperson recalls that what Junex made clear while consulting citizens about the Galt project was that the agreement stipulated that Resources Quebec would be a drilling partner and that the organization would invest until it reached a break-even point.
According to Environnement Vert-Plus, Quebec has invested, at a loss, nearly $ 30 million in various forms, stocks, streaming equity programs, and loans in Junex. Junex’s assets were bought in 2019 by Utica Resources, of which Gaspé Énergies is a subsidiary.