April 4, 2018
For immediate release, April 4 2018
Diverse opposition to fracking calls for protection of water, farming, tourism, health
(Nova Scotia) – Forty businesses and organizations are calling for Nova Scotia’s moratorium on fracking to remain in place.
The groups represent a wide cross-section of the population: farmers, faith organizations, health groups, forestry groups, First Nations peoples, environmental groups and small businesses. In a joint letter to Premier Stephen McNeil and Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan, signatories reaffirm their support for continuing the ban on fracking which was passed in 2014.
The letter was drafted in response to Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan’s statement, shortly after the release of an Onshore Petroleum Atlas for Nova Scotia earlier this year, that he would be maintaining the ban, but was “looking forward to the discussion” on fracking.
“This letter is our contribution to that discussion. The undersigned organizations were opposed to fracking in 2014, and remain opposed now,” the groups state.
“We are disappointed to see this conversation open up again,” says Barb Harris of the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia. “There is no reason for NS to reconsider the ban on fracking. We are in good company. Around the world, bans and moratoriums on this practice continue to grow. In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick now has a moratorium, PEI has banned it, and Newfoundland-Labrador has reaffirmed its “pause” after a lengthy independent review.”
The groups point out that “The external review panel headed by David Wheeler in 2014 confirmed there is insufficient evidence that fracking can be done safely at this point in time; and since that time there has been mounting evidence that points to the dangers of fracking.”
The letter emphasizes that risks to groundwater, human and wildlife health, soil and air quality, and climate change are well documented, that farmland, a key contributor to Nova Scotia’s economy is particularly at risk from fracking, and that there has been repeated and ongoing opposition to fracking and fossil fuel development from Mi’kmaq communities across Nova Scotia and the whole of Mi’kma’ki.
“We, the undersigned organizations, call for the legislated moratorium on fracking to remain, and for the Government of Nova Scotia to stop all further investigation of the potential development of shale gas, tight sands, and coal bed methane in the province,” the letter states.
NOFRAC member Ken Summers, a Hants County resident agrees. “Instead of investing any more money or time in supporting the fracking industry, let’s put our energy into building industries that meet 21st century realities and needs,” Summers says.
The letter’s signatories include the Nova Scotia Health Coalition, Just Us! Coffee Roasters, Schoolhouse Brewery, Firehouse Ironworks, The Native Council of Nova Scotia, the Ecology Action Centre, the Council of Canadians, and multiple tourism businesses, community groups, and faith groups.
Robin Tress, Council of Canadians, NOFRAC steering committee member