Novel, uncertain and controversial are some of the terms used to describe activities linked to shale gas in Québec and other Canadian provinces.
A variety of stakeholders from the business, environment and public health communities are being called upon to give their opinions on the development of this gas resource. What are the stakeholders’ perceptions of the effects of shale gas activities on health and well-being? How are these effects taken into consideration? This research examined these questions in the context of the consultation and impact assessment held in Québec from 2010 to 2014. A comparative study with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia was also performed.
This research documented a complex case involving the economy, the environment and health.
While impacts on health and well-being were not explicitly taken into account during the consultation and impact assessment in Québec, they were nevertheless addressed through health determinants such as the natural physical environment, the built environment and the social environment. The lack of empirical knowledge about the risks and effects of shale gas activities was a source of concern. Mechanisms and procedures concerning legal and financial aspects or modes of governance also emerged as cross-sectoral concerns.
This research documented a complex case involving the economy, the environment and health. The same scenario is likely to repeat itself in the coming years, hence the importance of promoting the dissemination of information, increasing our knowledge about this type of controversy and promoting discussion between local and centralized stakeholders.
France Gagnon, TÉLUQ
Deposit of the research report: May 2016