The Council of Canadians is expressing solidarity with communities who are fighting proposals to frack on the West Coast of Newfoundland, including near the boundaries of Gros Morne National Park. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently announced that the park could be de-listed as a World Heritage site because of these onshore-to-offshore projects to frack for oil.
Black Spruce Exploration and Shoal Point Energy Ltd. have submitted plans that include fracking to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, but have yet to apply for a drilling permit with the Newfoundland and Labrador government. The companies plan to explore for oil and gas by drilling down on land and then horizontally under the Bay of St. Lawrence in the Port au Port / St. George’s Bay area, Sally’s Cove / Rocky Harbour and several other communities along the West Coast.
“We are alarmed that these companies have plans to frack within kilometres of Gros Morne National Park,” says Ken Kavanagh of the Council of Canadians’ St. John’s chapter. “It’s not just about Gros Morne, though. Communities all along the West Coast are getting informed and organizing to stop the proposed fracking projects from moving forward.”
“Opposition to fracking projects in the Atlantic region has been gaining momentum. Once people learn about all of the concerns and unanswered questions about hydraulic fracturing, they don’t want it in their communities,” says Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer with the Council of Canadians.
UNESCO has also said it will be keeping tabs on the environmental review process related to the fracking projects. Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, a past special adviser on water issues to the president of the UN General Assembly, says, "Fracking poses a serious threat to water and undoubtedly a former Chevron executive heading the regulatory board will not go unnoticed by UNESCO." Barlow adds, "Gros Morne is a national treasure that must be protected."
The Council of Canadians is calling for a ban on fracking in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is working in solidarity with several community groups on the West Coast of Newfoundland.
Twitter: @CouncilOfCDNs | www.canadians.org/fracking