Editor’s note: The following letter was written to Premier Stephen McNeil and Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan.
In 2014 Nova Scotia banned fracking following an extensive democratic process including a government-commissioned independent review, a widespread series of public hearings, a declaration by the Native Council of Nova Scotia, a resolution of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities against the practice, the adoption of prohibitions in municipal by-laws, and community-led activism.
The ban on fracking was supported by many thousands of Nova Scotians because it would protect our water, health, land, and climate from the many risks of fracking.
In January 2018 the Nova Scotia Department of Energy released an Onshore Petroleum Atlas, which included available information on Nova Scotia’s shale gas formations. Energy industry players immediately became vocal about ending the ban, and Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan said 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.
Given that in September 2017 the Premier of Nova Scotia issued a mandate for the Minister of Environment to continue to enforce the ban on fracking; 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; that the risks to groundwater, human and wildlife health, soil and air quality, and climate change presented by fracking are well documented; that 95 per cent of the land covered by onshore petroleum leases in Nova Scotia is farm land which contributes meaningfully to our local system and economy, and farmland is particularly at risk of the many harms that fracking presents; that many municipalities in Nova Scotia have passed resolutions committing to protecting residents’ rights to clean water and safe food, and the Municipality of the County of Inverness went as far as to pass a by-law banning fracking within its boundaries; 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.
No farms, no food!
Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia
Eastern Shore Forest Watch
Citizen Action to Protect the Environment
Council of Canadians -South Shore chapter
Council of Canadians-North Shore chapter
Council of Canadians–Inverness chapter
Treaty Truck House Water Protectors
Grassroots Grandmothers Circle
Peace and Friendship Alliance Nova Scotia
Firehouse Iron Works
Sensible Energy for the North Shore
Adult Study Group at Central United Church
Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group
Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI
Fundy Beauties Hosta Nursery
Innovative Real Estate
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Native Council of Nova Scotia
Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia
Sunrise Film Festival
NS Health Coalition
Nova Scotia Advocate
Acadian Embassy Records
Moon Fire Farms
Adrienne Wood, Naturopathic doctor
Council of Canadians
Ecology Action Centre
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
Nova Scotia Fracking Resource
and Action Coalition (NOFRAC)