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Buffy St. Marie on Fracking

Hint: She doesn't like it.

by Miles Howe

Buffy St. Marie is anti-shale gas too. [Photo: M. Howe]
Buffy St. Marie is anti-shale gas too. [Photo: M. Howe]

St. John, New Brunswick – Legendary performer Buffy St. Marie graced the Imperial Theatre in St. John last night, and gave a double standing ovation performance.

Never one to shy away from a political stance, or a defence of mother nature, St. Marie has throughout her decades-long career been the subject of CIA and FBI interest. Blacklisted, muzzled by mainstream media and for a period shunned airplay in the United States of America, St. Marie's immense talent has shone through it all and has garnered her a global audience of devoted fans.

Playing in the Irving stronghold of St. John, itself home of Canada's largest oil refinery, with pipe dreams of becoming the butt end of the 'Eastern Energy' pipeline, St. Marie still held back no punches in her criticism of the highly-polluting and water-intensive technique of natural gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing, or the environmental disaster of the tar sands.

After her show, St. Marie spent a few moments with a contingent of anti-fracking activists. They included veteran arrestees of the summer campaign against SWN Resource Canada's attempts at seismic testing in Kent County, New Brunswick. St. Marie had this to say of the potential of fracking in New Brunswick:

“Are you kidding?” said St. Marie. “Just don't let it happen. Don't let it happen. I've seen it in the US. I seen it in Oklahoma. I went to Fort MacMurray and it's disgusting. It's a disaster. It's worse than I ever could have imagined. It's bigger. And there's no returning. There's no turning back. Certain people signed certain leases and they did not have this in the fine print.

“It was not in the fine print. Our elders, their hearts are breaking because they signed leases. Don't sign leases, just don't do it. The ones who have, their hearts are breaking now, but it ought to be illegal because it's not in the fine print. It's not in the fine print that they're going to destroy nature. There's no way to turn it around. Once it's paved it's dead.”

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