Council of Canadians supports bill against fracking in Ontario

Mark Calzavara in Queens ParkThe Council of Canadians supports legislation that would ban or place a moratorium on fracking at both the federal and provincial level.

The Canadian Press reports, "An NDP private member's bill to ban high volume hydraulic fracking to produce natural gas from shale in Ontario was quickly shot down by the Liberal government Wednesday. NDP environment critic Peter Tabuns introduced a private member's bill to have Ontario follow the lead of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New York and ban fracking. Tabuns said fracking poses substantial risks to ground water, which is combined with toxic chemicals under extreme pressure to fracture shale deposits to free up natural gas for extraction."

Our Toronto-based Ontario-Quebec organizer Mark Calzavara was at the media conference where the bill was announced.

The news report adds, "Natural Resources Minister Bill Mauro said the Liberal government will not impose a ban on fracking. [Mauro says,] 'We won't be going forward with a moratorium. [Our] review will determine what our next steps will be.' Mauro would not put a timeline on when his ministry's review of the fracking issue could be completed, and said there are no fracking applications to the ministry, no one is seeking a licence and there is no exploration going on for fracking in Ontario right now. The minister said he wasn't sure there's enough potential gas in the province to attract companies that want to frack."

Three points in response to the minister's quick rejection of a moratorium on fracking:

  1. In October 2014, the Council of Canadians released the results of an EKOS Research poll that found most people, regardless of political affiliation, support a fracking moratorium. That poll states that 75 per cent of people in Ontario strongly or somewhat support a moratorium on fracking.
     
  2. In March 2010, the Toronto Star reported, “To assist exploration companies, the province [under Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty] released an aerial survey of southwestern Ontario that maps out magnetic variations in the upper crust. These variations flag certain geological zones that lend themselves to oil and gas formation. ‘We’re just pointing out to industry] that this is something you may have missed,’ [Terry] Carter [a petroleum resources geologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources] said."
     
  3. In December 2011, Toronto's NOW Magazine reported, "Shale gas exploration ... is in its infancy in Ontario. But a three-year study by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines uncovered areas of potential development in almost all of southwestern Ontario west of London and a section of southeastern Ontario. One exploratory well has been drilled in Chatham."

The Council of Canadians calls on the government of Premier Kathleen Wynne to implement a ban on fracking in the province of Ontario.

For more on our campaign against fracking, please click here.

Further reading
Alberta firm eyes Ontario's untapped shale gas (March 2010 Toronto Star article)
Fracking in its 'infancy' in Ontario (December 2011 blog)
Shale gas 'fracking' in Ontario brings water concerns (March 2010 blog)
Company buys 23,000 acres of land in Ontario for fracking operations (November 2011 blog)

Photo: Mark Calzavara in Queens Park