New Brunswick looks forward to fracking moratorium

Global News reports that the issue of fracking played a critical role in Monday's provincial election in New Brunswick.

It notes, "Lori Turnbull, an associated professor at Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration, ...said voters may have been willing to sacrifice other priorities to side with the leader that best suited their views on fracking."

Notably, "In Kent North, the riding where [the fracking hotspots of] Elsipogtog and Rexton are located, the Liberals’ Bertrand Leblanc was elected with 53 per cent of the vote. Neighbouring Kent South also went to the Liberals’ Benoit Bourque, ousting the PC’s Claude Williams, the minister of Transportation and Infrastructure under [former premier David] Alward. ...In the new Memramcook-Tantramar riding, another area where shale gas development was a key issue, Bernard Leblanc beat two-term PC MLA and Minister of Agriculture Michael Olscamp with 50 per cent of the vote. PC Natural Resource Minister and Deputy Premier Paul Robichaud is out of a job now, losing to Liberal Wilfred Roussell lost the Shippagan-Lamèque-Miscou race."

"[And] in the biggest upset, Green Party leader David Coon triumphed over Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard in the riding of Fredericton-South."

And so we are all now anticipating the announcement about a fracking moratorium in New Brunswick. The new premier Brian Gallant clearly promised to implement a moratorium on fracking "until risks to the environment, health and water are fully understood".

Today, the Globe and Mail reports, "Mr. Gallant has said he will place a moratorium on fracking until there is more study about its health and environmental implications. [A senior Liberal] strategist said the premier-designate does not feel 'vulnerable' on the issue at all. He has some help – the Green Party MLA’s position on fracking is even stronger. Mr. Coon would cancel exploration and production licences and his party would ban shale-gas extraction."

And CTV notes this morning, "Coon, who became the first member of his party to win a seat in the province, says he has already spoken to the premier-designate and is willing to work with him on the issue."

Global News highlights, "Gallant’s intent to impose a moratorium falls in line with Liberal-run neighbours Nova Scotia and Quebec, and the Progressive Conservative government in Newfoundland and Labrador — all of which have moratoriums on fracking."

A moratorium should effectively end SWN Resources' controversial pursuit of fracking in the Elsipogtog area.