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UPDATE: Council of Canadians helps launch ‘Don’t Frack PEI’ coalition

Broderick at the December 2012 strategy meeting in Charlottetown.

Broderick at the December 2012 strategy meeting in Charlottetown.

Council of Canadians vice-chair and Charlottetown chapter activist Leo Broderick shares the news that representatives from fishing and agricultural communities, watershed groups, unons, social and environmental justice groups, and individuals gathered on January 22 to form a new anti-fracking group ‘Don’t Frack PEI’.

Last month, Broderick was quoted in the Charlottetown Guardian stating, “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 preparation for the founding meeting, questions were submitted to PEI’s Deputy Minister of Energy. In response to one question, the Deputy Minister’s office stated, “Prince Edward Island has a competitive bid system for issuing exploration rights (permits).”

The Charlottetown Guardian has previously reported, “While the practice isn’t taking place in P.E.I. now, an area near Green Gables was fracked in 2007, which resulted in a broken pipe spilling radioactive material. Three companies, PetroWorth, Corridor Resources Inc. and BP Canada Energy Company, all have permits for gas exploration.”

And in April 2011, Ocean 100.3 FM reported, “Opposition (Progressive Conservative) MLA Jim Bagnall quizzed (PEI) Environment Minister Richard Brown on the exploration practice called ‘fracking’. Bagnall says the (Liberal) government (of premier Robert Ghiz) has signed a contract with a company called Petroworth for this type of exploration. He says the deal covers 440-thousand acres of land and it’s dangerous to our ground water. (The provincial environment minister) says fracking will not be allowed if it’s found to be dangerous, after a full environmental assessment. Bagnall says the deal with Petroworth should be cancelled, none-the-less because of the dangers involved to our ground water.”

In December 2011, Council of Canadians Charlottetown chapter activists were present at the ‘Protecting Our Communities: A Conference on Shale Gas and Fracking’ in Truro, Nova Scotia. And in December 2012, more than 30 PEI activists attended an information session hosted by the Council of Canadians in Charlottetown. For more on those gatherings, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=18462, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=18470 and http://canadians.org/blog/?p=12526.

To see the new website for ‘Don’t Frack PEI’, please go to http://dontfrackpei.com/web/.