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Nova Scotians overwhelmingly support continued ban on fracking

Halifax, Nova Scotia – Nova Scotians overwhelmingly support a continued ban on fracking, according to a just released poll. The poll found that 69% 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.

The poll, conducted from September 30-October 6, during the last week of the provincial election, found strikingly solid support for a continued ban in all areas of the province –from a high of 72% in Cape Breton, to 70% in HRM and Annapolis Valley/South Shore, and 61% in the northern part of the province.

The overwhelming support crossed the political spectrum – 71% percent of those committed to vote Liberal, 72% NDP and PC and 82% Green either strongly supported or supported a continued halt to fracking. Support was equally strong among men and women, and held steady across all age groups.

Only 16% opposed a continued moratorium, with 8% opposed, and 8% strongly opposed. Fifteen percent had no opinion.  

“This is crystal clear. Nova Scotians overwhelmingly recognize that fracking has the potential to do great harm, and that fracking should not be permitted unless it can be proven safe,” says Mark Tipperman of the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition (NOFRAC.)

"Anyone working on this issue knows that concerns about fracking cross the entire political spectrum: this poll confirms it,” says Gretchen Fitzgerald, Director of Sierra Club Canada -Atlantic Canada Chapter.  “The intense support for Elsipogtog NB shows the deep concern that people in this region and beyond feel about protecting their land, water, air and rights.”

“We’re waiting to see how the new government will proceed with the independent review of fracking impacts,” said Angela Giles, of Council of Canadians. “We hope they will ensure that the review covers all the key issues, is evidence-based, is fair and transparent, and includes meaningful public participation.”

Thirteen hundred (1300) people were polled by Abacus Data. The poll was commissioned by the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition (NOFRAC), the Council of Canadians and the Sierra Club.  The margin of error for this survey is plus or minus 2.8%, 19 times out of 20.

The polling question read:

Fracturing or hydraulic fracturing, is a relatively new process for extracting shale gas. Concerns have been raised about water contamination, harm to human health, and negative effects on communities and the climate. The Nova Scotia government has a moratorium on fracking while an independent review is underway.

Do you support keeping the ban on fracking in place, unless the independent review finds there is no risk to drinking water, human health, the climate or communities?

Full poll results here.

NOFRAC represents more than 100 members spread throughout Nova Scotia, including more than 15 environmental and community organizations. The coalition was formed in December 2010 to share information about the risks of hydraulic fracturing and the development of shale gas in Nova Scotia, and to raise public awareness about the risks of these practices.

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