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No Fracking Way!

Provincial Day of Action against Fracking in Nova Scotia

by Melissa Albiani and Stu Caldwell

No Fracking in the Maritimes. Photo: Occupy NS
No Fracking in the Maritimes. Photo: Occupy NS

Saturday, January 14th was the Nova Scotia Provincial Day of Action against Fracking. 

Rallies were held in Halifax and Cape Breton, organized by Occupy NS and other local organizations.  Over 100 people were at the Halifax Rally, with speaking representatives from the Ecology Action Centre, Council of Canadians, Sierra Club, Green Party, Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia, and grassroots organizations from as far as New Brunswick and Cape Breton.  

According to the Ecology Action Centre, three companies have the right to explore for oil and gas in Nova Scotia, using the method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "Fracking."  Denver-based Triangle Petroleum Corporation (TPC) is leasing the Windsor Block, a 167,000-hectare parcel of land in East Hants County, Nova Scotia. TPC's drilling is currently on hold, but they have applied to drill, and frack, up to 7 more wells before 2014.

Organizers explained that they cordially invited multiple politicians to the event.  Megan Leslie, environment critic for the federal NDP, was the only one present from any of the federal, provincial or municipal governments.  In an interview, she explained that although the technique of fracking is not new, its cumulative effects have not been researched.  After more than ten years of on-the-ground practice, the chemicals that are pumped into the ground are still not regulated.  She advises all levels of government to act based on the precautionary principle: "If we don't know, we wait."

After the speeches were finished, activists marched to the Mi'kmaq Friendship Centre on Gottingen Street in Halifax's North End for lunch and more discussion.  Topics focused on an ecologically-based economy, and strategies for change.  The event concluded with the consensus that the process of starting dialogue is the solution. 

Listen to the audio attached for more info!

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