ANTIGONISH: Town council plans to discuss correspondence on hydraulic fracturing later this month.

During the regular monthly meeting of Antigonish Town Council on February 26, members discussed correspondence sent from the Municipality of the District of Guysborough regarding hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The letter is looking for support of a motion passed by Guysborough council stating“that the council of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough write the Premier of Nova Scotia, with copies to all members of the legislature, indicating that in light of the recent release of the Nova Scotia Onshore Petroleum Atlas Project confirming the economic potential for onshore hydrocarbon development, that we strongly urge the province to create regulations and legislation that remove the ban on fracking in [Nova Scotia] and design a program that provides strict guidelines and parameters under which a pilot project can be initiated to determine whether this resource can be safely developed for the benefit of all Nova Scotians.”

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Antigonish CAO Jeffrey Lawrence said town council looked at the letter but with Mayor Laurie Boucher and councillor Donnie MacInnis not available, councillors deferred the matter to the meeting set for March 19.

“They did indicate that administration should prepare something to discuss at the meeting,” said Lawrence. “Regardless of whether they supported it or didn’t support it, they would want in a motion that it would require the approval of the municipality that would host the pilot project. They still haven’t decided yes or no but even to give consideration they would want in there that the host municipality, wherever it would be, would be supportive of the project and it wouldn’t be forced upon them.”

Lawrence said Antigonish would never want to support something being located in a municipality without the support of the unit in question.

“It will be my recommendation to the mayor and council that we make sure that we communicate that it will be discussed at the March 19 meeting so if people do want to attend, they’re aware of it,” he added.