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Yukon chapter expects recommendations on fracking by select committee soon

Dawson City residents tell the select committee they are opposed to fracking. Photo by Dan Davidson/ Klondike Sun.

Dawson City residents tell the select committee they are opposed to fracking. Photo by Dan Davidson/ Klondike Sun.

The Yukon chapter of the Council of Canadians is calling for a permanent ban on fracking in the territory.

Toward this send, the chapter participates in the Yukoners Concerned about Oil and Gas coalition and has helped organize two cross-territory tours, one in September 2014 (that went to Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake) and the other in January 2013 (to Watson Lake, Whitehorse, Mayo, Dawson and Ross River). The chapter has also held numerous protests, organized a benefit concert, written letters to the editor, gathered signatures for an anti-fracking petition, and much more.

There is currently no fracking in the Yukon, but the territorial government’s Select Committee Regarding the Risks and benefits of Hydraulic Fracking has been reviewing the issue and it appears likely that the temporary moratorium on shale gas development that was implemented in 2012 could be repealed. Vancouver-based Council of Canadians British Columbia-Yukon organizer Brigette DePape has noted, “The select committee will be providing their recommendation on whether fracking goes ahead after public hearings that took place over the past several months.” Yesterday, the chapter told us, “We’re expecting the final recommendation by the select committee to be announced any day now.”

Unfortunately, it is expected that the select committee will recommend moving forward with fracking in the Yukon. This despite the public hearings found the overwhelming majority of people are against fracking as reported by CBC here and here. Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui also notes, “The Council of Yukon First Nations, an organization of fourteen First Nations, unanimously passed a resolution in July 2013 declaring traditional territories ‘frack-free’, Shortly after, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation voted to ban fracking until it could be proven safe. Kaska First Nation has also come out against fracking.”

The Yukon chapter is now focused on further raising awareness of the dangers of fracking in the territory.

For updates on this situation, please see the Yukoners Concerned About Oil & Gas Exploration/ Development Facebook page.