During the public sessions held in Hillsborough last June, I stood at the microphone and asked the government panel if anyone had assessed the impact of this industry on tourism. I said that business owners have worked long and hard through good and bad tourism years in an effort to create, promote and build a viable eco-centered tourism industry based on our beautiful, unspoiled landscape and our unique asset: The Bay of Fundy. How did they think industrialization would impact that?
Silence met my question. They looked at each other and one member responded, ‘To my knowledge, we have not looked at that.”
Shortly after, I posed a question on the disposal of toxic and sometimes radioactive wastewater and was told the water was treated in Debert then dumped in the Bay of Fundy. “The Bay of Fundy??” More silence.
While our government and the proponents of the oil and gas industry focus on the potential of this industry to solve all our economic woes, writer Hassan Arif compares that hoped-for gain against the economic cost to our environment and our tourism industry. Arif writes:
“The massive industrial operations associated with fracking would fundamentally change the character of New Brunswick’s rural and natural landscapes. These landscapes are an attraction for tourism and (potentially) for new residents, as well as a being an important part of our province’s identity as a smaller province of pristine natural and rural landscapes….We need policy oriented to building a 21st-century creative economy with emphasis on investing in education, promoting high-tech and other entrepreneurial endeavours, and modernizing agriculture and forestry so they are sustainable enterprises in the 21st century.” .
Read his complete article here.