Sask. government explains pro-fracking stance

Sask. government explains pro-fracking stance

Postby Oscar » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:27 am

Sask. government explains pro-fracking stance

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Tyler Clarke Published on November 12, 2013

It’s near impossible to attend an Idle No More event or an environmental group’s meeting without hearing about the alleged evils of hydraulic fracturing.

"Fracking is contaminating the water everywhere they go,” anti-fracking advocate Jessica Ernst told a Prince Albert audience during the city’s latest Earth Day festivities, invited by the local Council of Canadians chapter.

"The information they give the public is so full of lies. It's evil, what they're doing."

Dismissing these claims as “fear mongering,” Carrot River Valley MLA Fred Bradshaw initiated a 75-minute Saskatchewan Legislature debate in last week, backing the province’s continued practice of using hydraulic fracturing in the oil and gas extraction process.

This, at a time when Newfoundland and Labrador have recently placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province.

Contacted after last week’s meeting of the legislative assembly, Ed Dancsok explained the ins and outs of Saskatchewan’s use of hydraulic fracturing.

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“There has been no documented evidence of any contamination of near surface waters or surface waters from fracking,” he concluded, although he admitted that no natural resource extraction process is 100 per cent sound, with better means of fracking coming out on a continual basis.
Although most gas and oil extraction is currently in southern Saskatchewan, leaving the Prince Albert area unaffected by hydraulic fracturing, this might not always be the case, he said.

“There are indications of gas throughout the province, right from the northeast corner around … Preeceville through south of Prince Albert up to the northwest corner, near … Meadow Lake,” he said.

“It’s a matter of infrastructure through the Prince Albert area,” he added. “Of course, without the gathering facilities for natural gas, even if natural gas is found, it may be some time before that can be developed, but certainly we’ve had indications of gas – small areas of gas in the general Prince Albert area.”

During last week’s debate in Saskatchewan Legislature, opposition joined the Sask. Party in commending the province’s hydraulic fracturing record, with Saskatoon Centre’s NDP MLA David Forbes the first to respond to Bradshaw’s support of fracking.

“We have a record that we can be proud of in Saskatchewan when it comes to hydraulic fracturing,”

Despite the provincial government’s approval of hydraulic fracturing method, Prince Albert Council of Canadians member Rick Sawa said that Newfoundland and Labrador had the right idea by placing a moratorium on fracking.

“The Council of Canadians opposes fracking because of its high water use, its high carbon emissions, its impacts on human health, the disruption it causes to wildlife, and the danger it poses to groundwater and local drinking water,” he said.

“We are calling for a country-wide halt on fracking operations, and work with people in communities across Canada who are saying, ‘No fracking way!’”

In addition to Newfoundland and Labrador, Sawa notes that New York, Vermont and three municipalities in Colorado currently do not allow fracking to take place.

Bulgaria, France and South Africa have banned fracking, and Germany is in considerations.


Rick Sawa, National Board Member, Contact Person, Prince Albert  Chapter, The Council of Canadians

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