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Environment

The Hunt for Shale Gas on Quebec's Deer-Infested Island, Anticosti

VICE traveled to some of the most isolated drilling sites in Quebec to spend time with locals and find out how promises of gas and glory are affecting the tiny, hunting-based community in Anticosti.

by Simon Coutu
Dec 1 2015, 6:00pm

Anticosti is nestled in the heart of the Saint Lawrence River gulf and is on the front lines of a major environmental controversy. Despite Quebec's commitment to lowering greenhouse gas emissions at the Paris Climate Change Conference, the province seems rather tempted by the estimated 246 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 12.3 million barrels of oil that could be extracted each year from Anticosti.

Petrolia has already gotten the green light from the province to begin exploratory fracking in early 2016 to find out if Anticosti really is as lucrative as estimates suggest. Some of the island's 200 residents are apprehensive that the thousands of wells will destroy their land, but with mounting unemployment, many locals see the shale gas and oil project as their only option.

Meanwhile, 200,000 deer are freely wandering the island and adding another layer of complexity to Anticosti's ecosystem, making it one of the most unique hunting grounds in North America. VICE traveled to some of the most isolated drilling sites in Quebec to spend time with locals and find out how promises of gas and glory are affecting the tiny, hunting-based community.