NWT chapter supports second petition calling for a moratorium on fracking

NWT chapter
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow with the NWT chapter in Yellowknife.

The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter continues to press for a moratorium on fracking with a second petition.

My Yellowknife Now reports, "A group named Fracking Action North wants hydraulic fracturing in the NWT to be postponed until an environmental review is completed."

"This isn’t the first time the group, which includes Alternatives North, Ecology North and the Council of Canadians, has petitioned for fracking in the North to be reviewed. In March last year, the group delivered an anti-fracking petition containing 790 signatures to the legislative assembly. The group says that should have been more than enough to trigger a review under a clause of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, which states that projects of 'significant public concern' should undergo an environment assessment."

Given the population of the Northwest Territories is estimated to be just 43,537 people, and 19,234 people live in the capital city of Yellowknife, 790 signatures is indeed significant.

The article adds, "In August 2014, ConocoPhillips received further regulatory approval for fracking near Norman Wells." At that time, the Sahtu Land and Water Board (SLWB) issued land use and water licenses to ConocoPhillips to drill 10 exploratory wells in the territory over the next five years.

In response, NWT chapter activist Lois Little said, "We are profoundly disappointed that the SLWB chose to ignore the many well-reasoned interventions, the territorial petition with almost 800 signatures, the NWT Elders Parliament resolution and many voices in opposition from the community whose lands and water are most directly impacted. It is offensive that all these voices have been ignored with the sweeping statement that concerns can be addressed by existing technology and the company's existing practices."

If you live in the Northwest Territories you have until March 10 to sign the new petition which can be found here.

That petition states, "We urge the Government of the Northwest Territories to put a moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) until a comprehensive, transparent and public review of the cumulative environmental, social and economic risks and benefits of the process is completed under Part 5.1 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, and the NWT public clearly indicates whether the risks and benefits are acceptable or not. We further urge the Government of the Northwest Territories to shift economic development away from the exploitation of fossil fuels and towards economic diversification based on renewable energy and conservation."

At this moment, the petition has garnered 175 online signatures.

For information on the Council of Canadians national campaign in opposition to fracking, please click here.