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NWT chapter calls for environmental assessment of Husky fracking proposal

CBC reports, “A coalition of social justice and environmental organizations is encouraging people to demand an environmental assessment of a new fracking proposal in the Sahtu region of the Northwest Territories. Husky Energy is applying for permits to drill and frack up to four horizontal wells in the Sahtu by 2018. Alternatives North, Ecology North and the Council of Canadians are calling on people to write the Sahtu Land and Water Board, urging it to order an environmental assessment. A month ago, a petition was presented to the territorial government calling on it to order environmental assessments for hydraulic fracturing projects. It was signed by 790 people.”

Photo: Map of the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories.
Photo: Map of the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories.

As noted on their Facebook page, “The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians is strongly committed to the protection of our water resources. It is for this reason that we are joining with citizens in the Sahtu Region and elsewhere in the NWT to call for an environmental assessment of the recent Husky Oil fracking application. We will be writing to the Sahtu Land and Water Board and other agencies in the Sahtu as well as to the GNWT and the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board, requesting that they honour the 790 people who signed the Legislative Assembly petition calling for an environmental assessment of the Husky Oil application. We urge concerned individuals and organizations to do the same. The Sahtu Land and Water Board will accept all letters received by April 28th, 2014. See the CoCNWT website for more info and sample letters.”

The Horn River Formation is located in north-eastern British Columbia and extends to Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. More than 500 trillion cubic feet of gas is in this formation considered one of the top gas reserves in North America. Peter Redvers, co-chair of the Council of Canadians’ Northwest Territories chapter, has commented, “Fracking will become a major issue in the NWT over the next few years, initially in the Sahtu region and then in the Deh Cho. …Water must be considered a human right and a public, not private, resource.”

Earlier this month, the Council of Canadians NWT Chapter and the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning brought Council of Canadians Pacific region organizing assistant Brigette DePape to Yellowknife for a public speaking event and skills development training to help citizens challenge government action through creative and effective grassroots movements. Last October, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow was in Yellowknife to speak about her book Blue Future. And in May, our Edmonton-based Prairies-NWT organizer Scott Harris visited the recently formed chapter in Yellowknife.

Further reading
ConocoPhillips discloses toxic fracking fluids to be used in the NWT
Harper strips NWT water boards of licensing power
Concerns about the Giant Mine in NWT persist