UNIFOR: Canada-Wide Fracking Moratorium

UNIFOR: Canada-Wide Fracking Moratorium

Postby Oscar » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:06 pm

Canada's Largest Private Sector Union Calls For Fracking Moratorium

[ http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/11/16/Unifo ... oratorium/ ]

Unifor worried about 'frightening' pollution, worker safety, First Nations rights.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 16 Nov 2013, TheTyee.ca

Canada's largest private sector union has called for a national moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a brute force technology that has opened up shale formations for mining across North America and the world.

Unifor, which has 300,000 members in the country, said the technology has raised substantive environmental and economic concerns across the country and needs greater scrutiny.

Hydraulic fracking uses millions of gallons of water, tonnes of sand and toxic chemicals to blast open concrete like shale rock one to two kilometres below the ground. It has been the subject of intense protests in Australia, Ireland, England, South Africa and much of the United States.

Unifor came into existence earliest this year after the merger of two of Canada's most powerful and largest unions: the Canadian Auto Workers Union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

In a Nov. 14 press release, the union cited concerns about "frightening" groundwater pollution, methane leaks, "unpredictable impacts" on rock formations, "destruction of surface land" as well as safety issues for workers "toiling under haphazard, gold-rush-like conditions."

The union was also disturbed by the fracking industry's impact on First Nations and unresolved treaty claims, a major issue in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada.

"First Nations activists in New Brunswick and elsewhere are highlighting, with determination and passion, their insistence that no resource exploration or extraction can occur on their lands without full informed consent and a generous sharing of the economic benefits."

A national moratorium should remain in place "until such time as the safety and environmental risks associated with fracking have been adequately addressed, and until First Nations communities have given full informed consent for fracking activity on their traditional lands."

MORE:

[ http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/11/16/Unifo ... oratorium/ ]

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Unifor: Canada-Wide Fracking Moratorium
[ http://www.unifor.org/sites/default/fil ... 2013_e.pdf ]

November 14, 2013

Port Elgin and Toronto, ON, Nov. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Unifor, Canada's largest energy union, is calling for a Canada-wide moratorium on all new oil and gas fracking. Already the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have introduced moratoriums on fracking. Nova Scotia has banned fracking while undertaking a review. Unifor is now pushing for a national moratorium.

Unifor is raising concerns about the safety and environmental risks associated with fracking as well as the lack of informed consent by First Nations about fracking activities on traditional lands.

In the statement unanimously passed by the 25-person Unifor National Executive Board, the union expressed support for the non-violent protest efforts by First Nations to resist fracking activity on their lands. The Unifor National Executive Board is made up of elected representatives from across the country and a variety of economic sectors, including energy.

"Unconventional gas fracking has the potential to have catastrophic effects on our environment and economy. The safety risks are also a major concern for our union," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "Just because we can carry out this activity does not mean we should. We must enact a national moratorium on fracking activity."
Dias also noted that it would be folly for Canada to reorient our entire energy infrastructure around a short-term surge in an unsustainable energy supply.

From the statement:

"Any resource extraction industry in Canada must confront the problem of unresolved aboriginal land claims, and the inadequate economic benefits (including employment opportunities) which have been offered to First Nations communities from resource developments. This problem is especially acute with fracking because of the widespread land which would be affected by the activity, and the heated, profit-hungry rush which the industry is set to quickly unleash. Many Canadians share these concerns with the potential economic, social, and environmental damage of an unregulated fracking industry.

Instead of being guided by short-term swings in prices and profits for private energy producers, Canada's federal and provincial governments must develop and implement (in cooperation with other stakeholders) a national plan for a stable, sustainable energy industry that respects our social and environmental commitments, and generates lasting wealth for all who live here."

To read the full statement, please visit:
[ http://www.unifor.org/sites/default/fil ... 2013_e.pdf ]

SOURCE Unifor
Oscar
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