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19th November 2015
Northwest Territories chapter highlights fracking ahead of Nov. 23 territorial vote

November 17, 2015 - 9:15pm

As highlighted in a statement, "The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians has released the results of the survey on horizontal hydraulic fracturing sent to territorial general election candidates on behalf of the Fracking Action North (FAN) coalition. The survey asked: 1) Will you support a moratorium or a ban on horizontal hydraulic fracturing? Why or why not, and under which conditions would you allow fracking in the NWT? 2) Will you commit to proposing or supporting a motion in the NWT Legislative Assembly calling for a moratorium on fracking until a comprehensive, transparent and public review of the risks and public acceptability of fracking in the NWT is completed? Yes or no?"

Chapter activist Lois Little notes, "Of the 60 candidates, only 29 replied. Of these, 17 (61%) supported a moratorium on fracking. Eighteen (64%) committed to proposing or supporting a motion to the NWT Legislature calling for a moratorium until a public review of the risks deemed them acceptable."

Little adds, "We find the lack of insight into the issues associated with hydrocarbon exploitation quite revealing. ...Northerners need leaders who are willing and able to change with the times, acknowledge the science of climate change, and push for what is best for our families and communities now and in the long-term. If we care about our home, we will consider this when electing our representatives on November 23rd."

The chapter has also been promoting a petition that states, "We urge the Government of the Northwest Territories to put a moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) until a comprehensive, transparent and public review of the cumulative environmental, social and economic risks and benefits of the process is completed under Part 5.1 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, and the NWT public clearly indicates whether the risks and benefits are acceptable or not. We further urge the Government of the Northwest Territories to shift economic development away from the exploitation of fossil fuels and towards economic diversification based on renewable energy and conservation."

For more about the fracking issue in the NWT, please see this two-page backgrounder from our Fractivist's Toolkit.

The Nov. 23rd election will elect 19 members to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.

Brent Patterson's blog