The independent review panel had passed their final report and recommendations on to the Nova Scotia government. Just as we were all getting ready to organize another response, this time directed at Andrew Younger (NS Minister of Energy), we found out at the last minute he was going to make an announcement about fracking.
“The government of NS will introduce legislation this fall to prohibit high volume hydraulic fracturing for onshore shale gas…” WOOHOO!!
Colleagues and friends from NOFRAC, the Ecology Action Centre, Sierra Club, the student movement, Divest Dal, NSPIRG, Powershift Atlantic and others were at the media conference too and we hugged and cheered.
We are thrilled and proud after years of anti-fracking work, it paid off. And it was really wonderful to not just witness this historical moment, but for all of us collectively to play a role in it.
– Our chapters worked hard in their communities to raise awareness and educate their neighbours, friends, co-workers and organized events, rallies, panel discussions, and other creative actions along with having conversations.
– Indigenous communities spoke out against fracking as protectors of the water, land and air.
– Many political moments were seized and organizing skills were tested along the way; far too many to mention!
– Except to say that during the independent (Wheeler) review process which started last fall with recommendations on the scope of the review and potential panel members, many people participated to express concerns with fracking, and to ensure the panel was reflecting their views and concerns.
What’s the lesson for other jurisdictions or issues? Organizing works.
And yes, there are questions about what will be included in the legislation and concerns with how narrow the scope might be. Of course the devil is in the details, so we will be watching closely when this legislation is introduced, and again participate at every opportunity to ensure this is the strongest legislation possible.
But for now, we celebrate! Wins this important are too few and far between.