May 8, 2015 - 11:47am
The Council of Canadians supports Bill 82, legislation that would place a moratorium on fracking in Ontario.
In March, the Canadian Press reported, "An NDP private member's bill to ban high volume hydraulic fracking to produce natural gas from shale in Ontario was quickly shot down by the Liberal government [on March 25]. NDP environment critic Peter Tabuns introduced a private member's bill to have Ontario follow the lead of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New York and ban fracking. Tabuns said fracking poses substantial risks to ground water, which is combined with toxic chemicals under extreme pressure to fracture shale deposits to free up natural gas for extraction."
At that time, "Natural Resources Minister Bill Mauro said the Liberal government will not impose a ban on fracking. [Mauro says,] 'We won't be going forward with a moratorium."
But yesterday, in surprising turnaround, the Liberals joined the NDP in voting 28-19 in favour of the bill. All Progressive Conservative MPPs and one Liberal voted against the bill.
That means the legislation survives and will proceed on to third and final reading at Queen's Park. Please – now more than ever – be sure to take action to support a moratorium on fracking in Ontario by sending a message to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne through our action alert Don't Frack Ontario!
Your voice is important given the corporate opposition to this bill. Council of Canadians organizer Mark Calzavara notes, "Ontario MPP Peter Tabuns’ anti-fracking private members bill is getting a surprising amount of backlash from Ontario natural gas interests considering that there are supposedly no hydraulic fracturing projects in the works for the province. Both Union Gas and the Ontario Energy Association have sent letters to all MPPs asking them to vote against it. The letters claim that the economic benefits from potential fracking in Ontario are significant and that it can be done safely."
And Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui adds, “If passed, this bill would signal the continuing wave of moratoria on fracking that we are seeing in Eastern Canada. A ban on fracking is needed to prevent the public health risks associated with fracking chemicals, avoid runaway climate change and combat declining water sources. We need to stop fracking to protect the waters of the Great Lakes once and for all."
Brent Patterson's blog http://canadians.org/blog/win-ontario-bill-banning-fracking-passes-second-reading