On October 23rd, WEPAC met with our MLA, Wayne Steeves to share our fears about the proximity of oil wells to the Village of Hillsborough water supply, and also our concerns with the continued development of the Stoney Creek field, and how all this affects our rural landscape, lifestyle and property values. During that meeting, he was surprised to learn that approval had been issued for hydraulic fracturing. We have not yet received a response from that meeting.
We have sought and are awaiting opportunities to speak to various special interest and business groups in Albert County, have received the endorsement of Hillsborough municipal council, were permitted 10 minute presentation to Riverside-Albert municipal council, but Alma has not yet provided a time for us.
On Monday, November 26, Minister of the Environment, Bruce Fitch drove down to Albert County to listen as we voiced those same concerns. We gave him a package containing letters from students, supporting organizations, and petitions bearing 400 signatures. He listened to our fears, and also admitted he did not know about the approvals already granted for this area which are not subjected to any regulations that may be imposed.
That evening, we presented a showing of the film, “Be…Without Water: The Sequel” at the Hillsborough Legion. (We have a copy of the film. Should any group wish a showing, please email us.) Despite a mail-out (at considerable cost) and newsletter that reached 1600 homes in Albert County, 14 people showed up to view the film.
We know that this is not an indication of individual lack of concern for the safety of our water and environment because we have had many conversations with residents who oppose this industry, however complacency is, perhaps, a bigger enemy than the fracking.
You CAN make a difference. When you voice your concerns in a letter to our government you speak for the hundred or so who do not take the time to write. We have provided a SAMPLE LETTER that you can modify with your own words and comments. The addresses are there, and a copy should go to your own municipal council.
Add your voice to our efforts to protect this county.
On Tuesday, November 27th, members of WEPAC traveled to Fredericton to join other community groups and individuals taking part in the Walk to Ban Fracking. Our banner stated ‘Protecting What’s Important‘ because we believe that the promise of jobs and economic spin-off is overrated and cannot be worth the irreversible risk to our health, our water, our environment and the future of our county and our province.