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St. John’s chapter hosts ‘submission writing party’ against fracking

The Council of Canadians St. John’s chapter is organizing against fracking tonight.

VOCM reports, “The St. John’s chapter of the Council of Canadians is hosting a submission writing party for the the NL Fracking Review. Paula Graham is with the Council of Canadians. She says the submission writing party will include crayons, paints, and theatre as possible ways of getting the message across.”

The article highlights, “She says people often think of feedback to their government as something structured, but the point of the submission writing party is to get people working in a form in which they are comfortable. Graham says it’s about making the process informal, like the way people talk about government issues in real life. She says subjects like the environment and economy are talked about in song, or theatre or music, so people should feel free to submit their opinions in those ways as well. The letter writing party will run from 5-7 at Rocket Bakery, but Graham says there will be more later as well.”

In November 2013, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador said it would not accept any applications for fracking, effectively imposing a temporary ban on fracking. In August 2014, the province’s natural resources minister Derrick Dalley announced the decision to launch a panel review on fracking in the province. In October 2014, the names of the five members on the review panel were announced.

A blog on rabble.ca notes, “The government panel … was immediately criticized for its lack of diversity and narrow scope of expertise. Its members, all white men, bring significant knowledge only from the areas of engineering, economics and biochemistry. Other areas of expertise, such as medicine and social science, key to studying socio-economic impacts, especially the impact of fracking on human health, are largely absent from the skills list on the panel. Graham Oliver, of the Port au Port-Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group, is concerned that the review panel will not adequately address the issues of most concern to communities and does not believe that it has the ability to make a valid recommendation on fracking.”

The review is accepting written comments through to June 1.

Public consultations in Corner Brook and Stephenville are expected sometime after July 15.

The panel’s final report is expected by October.

For campaign blogs on the fracking issue in Newfoundland and Labrador, please click here.