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No clear public mandate for multibillion-dollar Saguenay gas project

In this June 12, 2014, photo, pipes carrying liquified natural gas to and from a holding tank, seen in background, at Dominion Energy's Cove Point LNG Terminal in Lusby, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Cliff Owen. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Cliff Owen

The controversial liquid natural gas (LNG) project in Saguenay is dividing Quebecers, according to a Léger poll released Wednesday.

GNL Quebec, a Quebec-based project development, construction, and operations company, wants to build a natural gas liquefaction terminal on the Saguenay River. Tankers would then transport LNG to European and Asian markets.

The project requires the construction of a 780-kilometre natural gas pipeline from Northern Ontario to the Saguenay terminal site.

The Legault government has come out in favour of the megaproject, claiming it has public support on its side.

Results of the Léger poll may suggest otherwise.

Read more: Quebec to ban sale of gas-powered cars by 2035

Only one-third of those surveyed (34 per cent) say they are in a favour of ​​the project, while almost half of the respondents were undecided or refused to answer.

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“It shows that there is not a clear public mandate in support of the project, even as Legault has pointed to public support in his government’s decision to move forward,” said Greenpeace spokesperson Patrick Bonin.

“There is fierce opposition. Among the people who have decided to take a stand, there is clear opposition,” Bonin said.

Regarding the government’s financial participation in the project, the opposition is even more evident, the poll suggests.

More than half of respondents (54 per cent) are against government financial support for the project, while 28 per cent are in favour.