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Atlantic regional organizer to comment on fracking legislation in Nova Scotia today

On September 30, Nova Scotia energy minister Andrew Younger introduced amendments to the Petroleum Resources Act in order to ban high-volume fracking.

The Chronicle-Herald reports, “The definition of high-volume fracking would be developed with regulations, said Younger. It would cover the same practices outlined in the former NDP government’s moratorium on fracking. …The moratorium [could only] be lifted following debate in the legislature, said Younger.” The Financial Post adds, “The minister says the government won’t consider lifting the ban until the it is convinced fracking can be done safely under a set of stringent new rules and regulations.”

The Chronicle-Herald notes, “The Nova Scotia Liberal government’s bill to ban high-volume hydraulic fracturing will make exceptions for the controversial practice to be used for testing or research. …The exception for research and testing will allow the province to continue to build on science and knowledge of the potential resource, said the minister. …It does not create a back door for companies to do exploratory work, he said.”

Another Chronicle-Herald article has reported, “The Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition said [October 6] a closer review of a bill tabled last week has revealed shortcomings when it comes to a definition for fracking, community consent and exemptions for research. Gretchen Fitzgerald of the Sierra Club said by defining fracking in regulations rather than in the bill, the government is allowing the energy minister to make changes without public debate or a vote in the legislature. …The coalition also said the bill does not include a requirement for community consent before fracking is permitted, which was a key recommendation from an expert panel review done for the government. As well, the coalition is critical of the bill because it’s specifically aimed at high-volume hydraulic fracturing in shale rock formations.”

The Council of Canadians is a member of NOFRAC and shares in this analysis.

Halifax-based Council of Canadians regional organizer Angela Giles will be presenting our views on Bill 6 at the Nova Scotia legislature today at 4 pm AT.

Further reading
WIN! Nova Scotia to prohibit fracking
Fracking a key issue in the defeat of the Alward government in Nova Scotia