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WIN! Independent review panel advises against fracking in Nova Scotia

The Council of Canadians welcomes the recommendations by an independent panel on fracking in Nova Scotia.

Global News reports, “An independent review panel has released a report saying hydraulic fracturing — better known as ‘fracking’ — might be viable for Nova Scotia in the future, but for now it shouldn’t be allowed. The report, compiled by a panel led by Cape Breton University president David Wheeler, says more research needs to be conducted before it is allowed to continue.”

The Council of Canadians encouraged members of the public to make written submissions to the review through our action alert Let’s keep Nova Scotia frack-free, and other mobilizations led by our Atlantic organizing staff Angela Giles and Tori Ball and our chapters in that province.

In late-July, the Canadian Press reported, “Wheeler stressed the panel will not advise the government on what to do about the moratorium, saying that is a political decision. However, he said if the government lifts the moratorium while at the same time agreeing to conduct more research and public talks, ‘that would not be consistent’ with what he has in mind.” 

Significantly, that article noted, “Wheeler went further, suggesting that no seismic testing or exploratory drilling should be allowed without the consent of surrounding communities. ‘And we’re saying communities are not in a position to give permission to proceed because there’s not enough knowledge’, he said. ‘We’re a long way away from that.'”

Nova Scotia’s energy minister Andrew Younger says he hopes to make a final decision about fracking in the province by September 25.

Mr. Younger should also keep in mind that a poll commissioned by the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition, the Council of Canadians and Sierra Club Atlantic found that 69 per cent of Nova Scotians strongly support or support a continued moratorium on fracking, unless an independent review finds there is no risk to drinking water, human health, the climate or communities.

In a media release issued this afternoon, Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui comments, “We do urge the province to implement the panel’s recommendations. however think that to truly be effective, we need an outright ban on fracking.”

The Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition, the Council of Canadians and 19 other organizations have called for a legislated moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for at least ten years. We recognize Indigenous title rights as upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada, and that a moratorium on fracking must remain in place until the Mi’kmaq community give their consent.

Further reading
Nova Scotia’s fracking review must protect communities’ water, says the Council of Canadians