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Strengthening our Voice

New Sierra Club Atlantic campaign to tackle fracking in all four Atlantic provinces

by Robert Devet

A new campaign by the Sierra Club Atlantic aims to support new and old anti-fracking activists in all four Atlantic provinces.
A new campaign by the Sierra Club Atlantic aims to support new and old anti-fracking activists in all four Atlantic provinces.

K'JIPUKTUK (Halifax) - Sierra Club Atlantic is launching an anti-fracking campaign that will eventually reach all four Atlantic provinces. 

The campaign, Strengthening our Voice, aims to inform citizens about the dangers of fracking and put tools for change in the hands of activists everywhere.

Gretchen Fitzgerald, director of the Sierra Club Atlantic, believes that with fracking review panels and scientific assessments making headlines it is easy to forget that ultimately decisions about fracking are political in nature.

This is why videos and half-day workshops that focus on swaying public opinion are a major part of the campaign.

"The Workshops are first and foremost about listening to what is going to work in a community," says Fitzgerald. "Then we talk about how you do a press release, how you do an op-ed, this is how you use social media."

"Activism around fracking has really invigorated and inspired many Canadians, but at the same time the democratic processes in Canada may well be at their weakest, so we are trying to take advantage of the threat of fracking to make it a strength," says Fitzgerald.

"It is important to get people to use their power as effectively as possible about an issue that they care so deeply about."

Fitgerald warns against complacency because of the temporary fracking moratoriums in place in Nova Scotia and now also in Newfoundland.

"We don't have a province that has a legislated fracking ban yet," says Fitzgerald. "Definitely the oil and gas companies are not going away until we get that piece of law in place."

Fitzgerald believes it is unacceptable that the Newfoundland fracking review will not be public. An internal review didn't work in Nova Scotia and it will not fly in Newfoundland, says Fitzgerald.

The Strengthening our Voice campaign had its soft launch in Prince Edward Island in late October. PEI and New Brunswick are the two Atlantic provinces without an interim ban on fracking, but unlike New Brunswick no fracking is taking place on the island.

Fitzgerald believes that there is a lot of opposition to fracking in PEI, and singles out the group Don't Frack PEI as having been particularly active in the PEI anti-fracking movement.

Don't Frack PEI argues that rather than putting water at risk PEI should focus on renewable energy sources and efficiencies.

But meanwhile the group has a ways to go.

When Don't Frack PEI sent government a letter with their concerns, the response included a fact sheet written by the fossil fuel industry on fracking, Fitzgerald says.


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Topics: Environment
423 words



all good now. sounds like a worthwile effort


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