Join the Crowd: Vote for a Moratorium

Newfoundland has put a moratorium on shale gas exploration into effect, primarily over fears about effects on tourism around Gros Morne Park.

hopewellrocksAs we have pointed out, much of the expected shale gas extraction in NB is around our biggest tourist attractions….including our own UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve and the Hopewell Rocks.

A resolution from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities is supporting a province-wide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and calling for a dialogue about the practice of hydrofracking between First Nations, federal, provincial and municipal governments on potential impacts.
In the PEI Legislature, on November 26th 2013, the Standing Committee on
Agriculture, Environment, Energy and Forestry recommended a Moratorium on
High Volume Hydraulic Fracking on PEI.
With existing moratoria in Quebec and New York, New Brunswick is now the
only jurisdiction in our region pushing ahead with shale gas development.
Voters in the Colorado cities of Boulder, Fort Collins and Lafayette approved
anti-fracking initiatives by wide margins in early November, despite an industry
campaign against the measures that cost at least $875,000.
Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union (300,000 with 40,000 in the energy
sector), called for a Canada-wide moratorium on all new oil and gas fracking.
Unifor raised concerns about safety and environmental risks as well as the lack of
informed consent by First Nations about fracking activities on traditional lands.
Click here for our list of the New Brunswick municipalities and Provincial groups of all kinds that have called for a moratorium.

A “small special interest minority”?  We think not.

Unearthed: The Fracking Facade

Afrikaan filmmaker, Jolynn Minnaar’s documentary, Unearthed: The Fracking Facade, started off as her determination to explore the potential for shale gas development in South Africa. She ended up traveling internationally , including the United States and New Brunswick and interviewing over 400 people in her quest for the truth. She visited Moncton last June. The final 5 minutes are particular poignant.

And here is an interview in which she talks about how this independently funded film came about and what she now thinks about the industry.

“This film isn’t about me, about what I think, I’m a filmmaker. I’m 24 years old, I’m not a petrochemical engineer,  I’m not an oil company executive, I don’t have any history in this industry. What I seek to do is go to the various stakeholders, be that the company or someone who has cancer after being exposed to the chemicals used in fracing, and make their voices known because up until now there hasn’t been that exposure so in this debate and in south Africa and internationally, this has failed us. And governments I believe are making poorly informed decisions and a lack of public consultation and it goes down to the basic democratic processes that haven’t been followed. And to me that is completely unacceptable.” Jolynn Minnaar

Dear Premier Alward, please don’t ruin our water…

Quinn knows the value of fresh water. He sees his dad working hard to keep Hillsborough’s two village water wells in good working order and knows bad water makes people sick. He has heard about fracking in the news and at school and knows others in his county are concerned about the gas and oil wells drilled nearby. He told his mom he wanted to do something to help.

Premier Alward, Quinn and his sister Cadence do not stand alone. They speak for all of us.

page1

Image2Image3(used with permission from Quinn and his mom.)

The way Cadence sees it…

Cadence is 8 years old.

Gas and oil companies have leased the land surrounding her village and have plans to frack for oil and gas this year. She worries about the changes this will bring to her world and her family.

Cadence wants to do her part and express how much she values family, nature and community. This is her way of voicing her concerns to the Alward Government and the oil and gas industry.

We can all learn a thing or two from Cadence (and her brother Quinn) about joining hands and speaking out about what is really important.

candace_noFrack

cadence

cadence2(posted with permission of Cadence and her mom.)

Parents Must be Informed

hillsboroughoverview1We expect drilling in the area surrounding Hillsborough will commence this spring or summer. In particular, parents must become more aware of how this industry may change our community. This is something that could affect every part of our daily lives including heavy equipment traffic, noise, vibration and lights, possible contamination of drinking water, possible decrease in property values and, most importantly,  the safely and well-being of our children.

It’s something we cannot ignore any longer. Please plan to attend one of these informal question and answer sessions to be held on:

Monday, February 11th, at 7pm AND
Monday, February 18th, at 7pm

Royal Canadian Legion, 31 Legion Street, Hillsborough
Join our Facebook Event Page and the “Shale Gas in Albert County” page.

WEPAC has invited a former frack site worker to the meetings so he can answer your questions based on his first-hand experiences.

Please do not depend upon our local media coverage to inform you on what shale gas and oil will mean to our community. You must do your OWN RESEARCH. Start by reading this fact sheet, released by the Council of Canadians regarding the Myths vs. Realities of Fracking. You can find more resources on our About Fracking page.

TAKE THE TIME – GET INFORMED – STAND UP FOR ALBERT COUNTY  – DO IT FOR YOUR CHILDREN

Film “Be…Without Water: The Sequel”

Tuesday, January 22, 6:30 PM, Alma Community Centre

Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County (WEPAC) is sponsoring a FREE showing of this one hour film by NB filmmaker Rob Turgeon, that documents the efforts to preserve safe drinking water by NB’s “anti-shale gas movement”, which includes over 30 groups and organizations.

The film will be preceded by a short presentation on our own Albert County situation and the results of meetings with our government officials and Contact Exploration.

Be…Without Water:  The Sequel (Film Trailer)

Part 1 of Be…Without Water is available on YouTube: You may wish to watch this first.

What will fracking do to NB’s tourism?

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. 

Film “Be…Without Water: The Sequel”

Monday Nov. 26, 7PM, Royal Canadian Legion, Hillsborough

Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County (WEPAC) is sponsoring a FREE showing of this one hour film by Rob Turgeon that documents the water loss of sixty Penobsquis families due to potash mining operations, and the efforts to preserve safe drinking water by NB’s “anti-shale gas movement”, which includes over 30 groups and organizations.

The film will be preceded by a short presentation on our own Albert County situation.

Be…Without Water:  The Sequel (Film Trailer)

Part 1 of Be…Without Water is available on YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/bmje3og You may wish to watch this first.