Category Archives: Fracking
April 24, 2017
To the Ends of the Earth—the feature film examining the rise of extreme energy, the end of economic growth, and the people caught in the middle—is screening Thursday May 4 at 7 PM in the Northern United Place auditorium.
The film examines the state of our energy system today, and the people in critical positions watching global developments unfold. We meet Inuit concerned that undersea seismic testing is harming marine mammals Inuit rely upon for food. Or the environmental lawyer who goes on a journey to areas that produce energy for the Tarsands of Alberta. Or the river conservationist in Utah who fights to protect the Colorado River from oil shale projects that would disturb its headwaters.
‘To the Ends of the Earth’ brings forward the voices of those who not only denounce the rise of extreme energy, but also envision the new world that is taking shape instead: a future beyond the resource pyramid, a post- growth economy.
The film is presented by the NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians. Admission is by donation.
Fractured Land, the story of a young Dene lawyer and activist’s battle against fracking in Northern British Columbia, will be screened Wednesday March 23 at 7 PM at Northern United Place.
Fractured Land follows the political awakening of Caleb Ben through community life and law school, sharing knowledge with other Indigenous peoples, speaking to larger and larger audiences, dealing with deep community divisions, and building a movement to fight big oil interests.
“Fractured Land offers vital lessons for our movement to prevent fracking in the NWT, and on the need to be vigilant of the up-stream impacts affecting the health of the entire Mackenzie River Basin,” says Council of Canadians Co-Chair Lois Little.
The 2015 film shows how new leaders like Caleb are forging alliances with scientists and environmentalists, sharing strategies using traditional knowledge and contemporary law, and keeping up the pressure for a total, national ban on fracking.
“Fractured Land demonstrates how people have mobilized to protect our precious heritage of fresh water from poisonous fracking operations,” Little says, “It’s the kind of unity and determination we need if we are to make the new Mackenzie Basin trans-boundary water agreements mean anything for water protection.”
The Fractured Land screening is part of the 2016 Water Week activities underway to raise awareness of water issues in the NWT.
Download the poster
The Council of Canadians Northwest Territories chapter has drawn a jar of water from Great Slave Lake to send to Justin Trudeau. The water will be part of a ‘climate welcome’ action in Ottawa on Nov. 7 to remind the new prime minister about the threats posed by tar sands expansion and pipelines to waterways across this country.
The Athabasca River, which is near many tar sands projects, flows north into the Peace-Athabasca Delta, south of Fort Chipewyan, and then into Slave River and Great Slave Lake. The Natural Resources Defense Council has commented, “Northern communities living downstream from the massive [tar sands] tailings dams are aware and concerned about risks presented by the tar-sands industry upstream. A larger spill could threaten not just the Athabasca river but the Peace-Athabasca delta, Lake Athabasca, the Slave river and delta, Great Slave Lake, and the Mackenzie river and delta, all of which empty into the Beaufort sea. Cleaning such a spill could cost billion of dollars.”
The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians congratulates Husky Oil Operations Limited for withdrawing its application to explore, with the intent to develop, a silica sand mining operation in the Whitebeach Point area of the North Arm of Great Slave Lake.
There has been growing opposition to this project by affected First Nations, particularly the Tlîchô Government and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents of the surrounding area. The area has historical, cultural, spiritual, environmental, and recreational value.
“This is no place for a mine, particularly a mine that, aside from being damaging in its own right, would support the environmentally destructive practice of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (shale fracking),” says Peter Redvers, Co-Chair of the NWT Chapter.
“It’s time that industry and public governments recognize that the continued exploitation and use of non-renewable energy sources is not socially, environmentally, or economically sustainable. The future lies in renewable energy sources and a healthy, diverse, and abundant environment,” Redvers says.
In light of Husky’s decision, CoC-NWT supports the Tlîchô Government in its efforts to establish the Dinàgà Wek’èhodì protected area in the North Arm and, where appropriate, to expand that protected area to include Whitebeach Point. CoC-NWT will also support ‘Wake Up! Whitebeach Point’, a local effort to educate area residents about the richness of this area.
The Council of Canadians NWT Chapter has filed comments to the Sahtu Land and Water Board regarding Conoco Phillips’ application for suspension and abandonment of its 2015-16 well drilling program. The Council is calling for full public disclosure of the volumes of chemicals and fracking fluids used, and fluids produced, and plans for monitoring of ground water quality and the conditions of casings.
Read the Chapter’s letter.
As you likely have heard, the discussion about fracking is heating up throughout the NWT. The fundamental question of whether the NWT wants to pursue this practice has yet to be discussed with residents and no comprehensive review has been undertaken to demonstrate to northerners that this practice is safe.
We are asking you to come out and have your say at the GNWT’s public engagement session on their proposed fracking regulations on Monday, June 15th at the Multiplex Gym at 6:00 pm.
The environmental assessment of the Husky frac sand project at White Beach Point is beginning. Please consider participating in the June 23rd Yellowknife hearing.If you are interested in speaking about this project, we can provide more details for how to register.
April 13, 2015
The GNWT has issued draft fracking regulations for public discussion over 90 days between April and June 2015. It is expected that the regulations will come into effect by the fall of 2015.
The GNWT’s draft fracking regulations will apply to new applications to frack for exploration and production. They are part of regulations under the Oil and Gas Operations Act and the Petroleum Resources Act, and National Energy Board Filing Requirements. These relationships are unclear in the information released thus far.
The draft regulations actually include many parts of the existing National Energy Board Filing Requirements word for word, but some regulatory requirements are left out entirely.
The meetings are presented as an opportunity to comment on the regulations, even though no evaluation has been done of whether fracking should go ahead at all.
A fact sheet is available providing background and outlining issues related to the draft fracking regulations.
Citizens are urged to attend the public meetings and present their views on whether fracking should proceed. See a list of public meetings on the GNWT website.
March 30, 2015
The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians (CoCNWT) has reviewed the proposed scoping document
for the Chedabucto Mineral Exploration Project and has filed comments, along with a
recommendation and an information request. Read the Letter.
News/North Guest Column
Co-Chair, NWT Chapter, Council of Canadians
Over the past year, there have been a number of news reports on the possibility of shipping diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands north along the Mackenzie Valley via pipeline to Tuktoyaktuk, where it would then be loaded on tankers for overseas export. This pipeline is being referred to as the Arctic Gateway project.
A study commissioned by the Alberta government and released this past September called this initiative “feasible,” to the apparent delight of our premier, Bob McLeod.
Our Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Dave Ramsay, who is also the regulatory minister for NWT oil and gas development, was recently quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying that “We’re hoping to see the concept expanded upon and moved forward here soon.”
But wait a minute! Isn’t bitumen (also known as asphalt or tar) one of the dirtiest and riskiest forms of fossil fuels on the planet?
October 1, 2014
People will gather in Somba K’e Park at noon Saturday and march to Northern United Place to participate in an information session on the dangers of fracking. The documentary “Showdown”, which focuses on the anti-fracking protests in New Brunswick, will be screened.
Participation in the worldwide event is being organized by the NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians.
“Global Frackdown will unite concerned citizens around the globe to tell elected officials that we want a future lit by clean, renewable energy; not dirty, polluting fossil fuels.” says Council of Canadians spokesperson Lorraine Hewlett. “The journey to a renewable energy future will not be fueled by oil and gas.”
“Horizontal fracking is moving forward in the Sahtu without even an environmental assessment. We have no detailed understanding of the short- or long-term impacts of this technology on Sahtu water resources; we don’t know the full details of the composition or quantity of chemicals that will remain underground;, and have no certainty that highly contaminated waste fluids will be managed properly toprevent leaks and spills into our northern waters.