Participants at Monday’s meeting. Photo by Leo Broderick.
The Guardian reports, “A new citizens group [Don’t Frack P.E.I] wants the provincial government to establish a permanent ban on fracking anywhere on the million-acre sandbar. …There have been no fracking permits approved for P.E.I., but organizers say that could easily change with a knock on government’s door. …It’s estimated up to 1,000 wells could be drilled to extract natural gas from the shale and rock formations.”
Council of Canadians vice-chairperson and Don’t Frack P.E.I. member Leo Broderick says of the 400 members on the group’s Facebook page and a large public meeting it held on Monday night, “This is huge for us. More and more people are taking an interest to stop this. …We want a permanent ban approved by government in the spring sitting of the legislature.” He has also posted, “Don’t Frack PEI held a very successful public meeting on Monday evening at Souris Ski Lodge in Souris. Many Souris and area residents attended. All very concerned about potential fracking on the Island. Elia Starchild was one of the speakers. She gave a moving presentation on ‘water as sacred’ and a passionate call for all to protect water.”
The article adds, “P.E.I. Environment Minister Janice Sherry told The Guardian that government is still waiting for the results of studies in other jurisdictions about hydraulic fracturing before it takes a stance on the issue.” The Council of Canadians hopes that P.E.I. will follow the lead of all the other Atlantic provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador – that have all implemented some form of a moratorium against fracking over the past several years.
The Council of Canadians helped launch Don’t Frack P.E.I. in January 2013. At that time, Broderick stated, “We would like to form a province-wide, broad-based, diverse P.E.I. anti-fracking coalition, where we would put pressure on the provincial government to declare there be an absolutely permanent moratorium on fracking and oil drilling in the province.”
In January 2014, the Guardian reported, “Although the province hasn’t taken a stance on fracking, in November  the members of the legislative standing committee on agriculture, environment, energy and forestry recommended a moratorium on the practice. That recommendation came after the committee heard from groups with concerns about oil and gas exploration, including Don’t Frack P.E.I.”