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WIN! Husky withdraws its fracking application in the NWT

Sahtu Region

CBC reports, “Husky Energy has withdrawn its application to horizontally drill and frack up to four wells in the Sahtu region of the N.W.T. In a short note to the Sahtu Land and Water Board, the company said it has decided to postpone drilling for two years. It had intended to start drilling this coming winter.”

The news report highlights, “Husky’s decision comes a week after the Sahtu Land and Water Board delayed making a decision on the project. The board wanted more information about the project.”

This is significant because last month CBC reported, “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. …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.”

The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter had also noted on their Facebook page, “[We are] 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.”

In early April, the 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 water protection and a year ago our then-Prairies-NWT organizer Scott Harris visited the recently formed chapter in Yellowknife.

Congratulations to the chapter and their allies for their persistent work on this issue!