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Prince Edward Island has just lost a veteran campaigner for the environment. Muriel Siemers, who made her home in Stratford, passed away on Sunday. Muriel had recently brought her indomitable spirit and her wealth of knowledge to the task of educating Islanders about the dangers of fracking. Muriel, who was proud to have done her part to prevent uranium mining in Nova Scotia in the 1980s, was a shining example of an active senior in her later years, driving to meetings and even attending a public hearing on fracking last year in Nova Scotia. Her knowledge and wise guidance will be missed by many, including those of us on the committee of Don’t Frack PEI, and we will redouble our efforts in her name over the coming months.
Supporters of Don’t Frack PEI will be making a donation in Muriel’s memory to the QEH Foundation. If anyone would like to contribute to this, please click the green button and use the Donate button, and also send us an e-mail to indicate that you have made your donation in memory of Muriel.
Jim Emberger gave a hugely informative talk at the first AGM of Don’t Frack PEI. With facts and figures from the industry, government bodies, and scientists, Mr. Emberger comprehensively overturned the myths that fracking is safe, is good for job creation, and is a revenue generator. Extremely worrying health effects, no plan for the disposal of millions of gallons of waste, and massive damage to existing industries were part of his message, which was honed in New Brunswick during their recent and ongoing fight against fracking. The slideshow for the presentation can be found here: http://dontfrackpei.com/web/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Jim-Emberger-Presentation.pdf and the AGM minutes can be found here http://dontfrackpei.com/web/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2015-AGM-Minutes-Dont-Frack-PEI.pdf
Jim Emberger, spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, will be giving a talk at the AGM of Don’t Frack PEI on Monday February 23rd. Jim gave 27 talks across New Brunswick in the spring, as part of the ‘Voice of the People Tour’, and his presentation provides the facts and exposes the myths about fracking. His talk, The Citizens’ Guide to Shale Gas, will open our AGM which will be held at Murphy’s Community Centre, 200 Richmond Street, Charlottetown, starting at 7pm. We will also have some musical entertainment, fracking news from PEI and other provinces, and coffee and cookies will be available.
Don’t Frack PEI is presenting an information session Monday, January 19th, from 7 pm to 9 pm at Souris Ski Lodge, Route 305, Souris. The session is open to all who have an interest in learning more about, and taking action around, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas. We will explore what has recently happened in other provinces, and the threat that fracking poses to PEI.
Souris & Area Branch of PEI Wildlife Federation is the host and chair of this event, and will be providing light refreshments. One speaker will explain how fracking differs from other forms of oil & gas extraction, and will detail the many negative impacts of fracking, and will explain how our four neighbouring provinces have come to enact fracking moratoriums. A second speaker will explore the concept of ‘social license’, and what can be done to counter the threat of fracking. Finally, we will explore the alternatives to oil and gas – Wind, Water, Sun, and Geothermal – outlining how these are valid alternatives, and that they are, in fact, essential for the future of our planet. For a poster, click here.
Our AGM, which was to be held on November 27th, has been postponed due to an illness. We will let you know as soon as we have rescheduled the meeting.
The first reading of the bill on the Nova Scotia fracking ban was tabled today, and here are the highlights:
No person shall engage in high-volume hydraulic fracturing in shale formations unless exempted by the regulations for the purpose of testing or research. Where the Minister reviews the prohibition, the Minister shall consider the net benefit to Nova Scotians, taking into account social issues; economic issues; health issues; environmental issues; scientific and technical issues; regulatory effectiveness and efficiency; and any other matter or thing that the Minister considers necessary or advisable.
The change of government in New Brunswick should lead to a moratorium. This leaves PEI as the only Atlantic province with no protection from the fracking industry.
Two of us from Don’t Frack PEI went to a public presentation and consultation in Amherst yesterday – me (Andrew Lush) and Muriel Siemers. It was one of a number of Q&A sessions being organized by the Nova Scotia Hydraulic Fracturing Review panel, more details at http://www.cbu.ca/hfstudy
There was a presentation, interspersed with questions and answers, and there were about 85 people there. The discussion was led by Dr. Wheeler, the chair of the review panel, and I commended him on the work that his panel has done so far – it appears to be well researched, non-political, and with good input from the public.
There was a sharp intake of breath from a number of people when Dr. Wheeler said that fracking in central NS could mean as many as 20,000 wells just in that region. Two other comments of his caught my attention – he was asked why we don’t know more about the risks, and his answer was something along the lines of “because the risks haven’t been studied”. On the positive side, he stated that he will recommend that the government gives control over mineral rights to local communities – which was a brave and necessary step to take.
What a contrast to what’s happening in New Brunswick. Dr. Wheeler said that he thinks the NS government wouldn’t allow fracking without the consent of local people, as the government doesn’t tend to steamroller plans through without consent – that is in sharp contrast to the way that the PEI government does things!
The Hydraulic Fracturing Review, led by Cape Breton University, is holding public meetings around the province. Right now it looks likely that they will recommend lifting the moratorium. Some people from Don’t Frack PEI will be attending the meeting in Amherst on Tuesday July 22nd at noon, to find out about the review and to offer our support to our neighbouring province. If you would like to share a ride, or if you can offer a ride, please e-mail email@example.com
The schedule is here: http://www.cbu.ca/hfstudy/events
On June 7th, we are holding our second community training workshop – in Mill River. This will give you the tools and information that you need to spread the message about the issues related to fracking on PEI. We ask that you pre-register for the half-day session, as places are limited. Full details can be found here.
News of our first workshop made it into The Guardian – read the story here
On May 3rd, we are holding a community training workshop. This will give you the tools and information that you need to spread the message about the issues related to fracking on PEI. We ask that you pre-register for the half-day session, as places are limited. See this sheet for more information.
Cinema Politica and Don’t Frack PEI are hosting a showing of the film Gasland II, followed by a discussion, on World Water Day, Saturday March 22nd, at 2:00pm, in the Duffy Science Building Theatre, UPEI. Admission is by donation.
This event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date.
Don’t Frack PEI invites interested persons to a Training Workshop Saturday, February 15, 2014, 9:30 a.m-1:00 p.m. St. Luke’s Hall, O’Leary Corner.
To pre-register: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone, toll free, Cooper Institute 1(877) 894-4573. There is space for 10-12 people.
The workshop will:
– provide participants with clear language information on fracking
– present ways to get other people in the community interested in fracking
– examine what anti-fracking actions would work in this community
– present ways to organize and promote a few community sessions on fracking
– suggest ways of forming teams to lead some anti-fracking sessions.
We have T-shirts for sale, to help get the message out there. Price is $20 per shirt for most sizes; 2XL and 3XL are $24 each. Prices include HST. We have a few, and when we run out we’ll order some more, so if you want one then e-mail email@example.com and we’ll figure out how to get it to you. The shirts are supplied by Charlottetown’s Lloyd Kerry and his Men In Black T-Shirts.
Fourteen people from Western PEI attended a meeting on Jan 22nd at Westisle school. After an introduction from Bill Costain of Christian Life Community, Andrew Lush spoke about the dangers of fracking, Eliza Knockwood sang a song and spoke about the native viewpoint and protests in NB, and Leo Broderick spoke about how we need to get the message out to the general population. A number of people signed up for a half-day workshop, to learn more and gain the tools needed to take the fight to the next level. Please contact us if you are interested in joining one of these workshops.
See a report in the Journal Pioneer here: http://www.journalpioneer.com/News/Local/2014-01-22/article-3586401/Speakers-express-concerns-about-fracking/1
For videos of the presentations, see our Videos page.
A third petition has been submitted to the House of Commons to be read. The first was read by Sean Casey MP, and two more have been handed to Wayne Easter MP and Kirsty Duncan MP to be read at Question Time. If you can gather 25 signatures, please download the petition here.
Don’t Frack PEI is sponsoring a general meeting on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 from 7 pm to 9 pm at Westisle Composite High School. The event is hosted by the Christian Life Community
(CLC) and chaired by Bill Costain of CLC. The session is open to all who have an interest in
learning more about, and taking action around, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas and
the threat this poses for PEI. Click here for more details.
In the PEI Legislature, on November 26th 2013, the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Environment, Energy and Forestry presented their recommendations to the government. The Standing Committee recommends a moratorium on High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing on PEI, as well as other recommendations related to oil and alternative energy.
Click here to listen to the report being read. To see the video, click here and skip forward to 88 minutes. To read the full report, which explains the reasoning behind the proposed moratorium, click here.
On November 20th, Sean Casey MP presented a petition in the House of Commons. The petition was signed by 25 supporters of Don’t Frack PEI. Here is the transcript:
Mr. Sean Casey (Charlottetown, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of several residents of Prince Edward Island, including some from the great riding of Charlottetown.
The petitioners are concerned about the practice known as high volume hydraulic fracking. This practice is of particular concern to us in Prince Edward Island because 100% of our drinking water comes from groundwater.
The petitioners point out that there is no definitive impartial report that can be used to either support or denounce fracking, so they are asking the government to have the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development study high-volume hydraulic fracking, and in particular its potential impacts on drinking water resources, air quality, human health, and the health of aquatic and terrestrial eco-systems, as well as the potential for seismic risks.
If you would like to collect 25 signatures, and present a petition to your (or any) MP, you can download it here.
On November 5th, three of us attended a protest outside Province House in Fredericton. About 650 people, including some from BC, protested on the first day of sitting of the legislature, and heard a number of speeches. What happens in NB directly affects us for two reasons – our PEI drinking water aquifer connects to areas in NB that are scheduled for fracking, and our Premier has stated that he is watching what is going on in NB. The atmosphere was great because of the moratorium announced in Newfoundland and Labrador the day before.