The Municipality of the County of Inverness passed a bylaw against fracking

Councillors pass bylaw that bans fracking in Nova Scotia county by The Canadian Press, May 7, 2013, Times Colonist

Announcement: The Municipality of the County of Inverness Cape Breton, Nova Scotia passed a bylaw against fracking today. May 6, 2013.

Inverness County passes anti-fracking bylaw by Chris Shannon, May 6, 2013, Cape Breton Post
PORT HOOD — It’s taken two years for Inverness County to craft its anti-fracking bylaw — creating policy municipal politicians hope protects human health and the environment while reassuring the oil and gas industry the county is still open for business. On Monday the bylaw passed second and final reading in a 5-1 vote, with only deputy warden Dwayne MacDonald opposing the bylaw. The public gallery, which was packed with more than 35 residents, applauded the decision at county council’s monthly meeting in Port Hood. MacDonald said the bylaw would be unenforceable and would undermine the authority of the municipality in other areas of its jurisdiction. “We don’t have the ability to know when somebody’s set up to start fracking,” MacDonald said just prior to the vote. “We can’t prove where and when they frack, and that makes this bylaw unenforceable. If we pass an unenforceable bylaw, we bring into question every bylaw that we have on the books. Government is only as collective as the ability to enforce the bylaws they pass. Passing bylaws that we can’t enforce says we’re an ineffectual government.”

Toronto-based energy company Petroworth Resources has plans to drill a 1,200-metre vertical exploratory well in an area on the western side of Lake Ainslie in Inverness County. The permit, approved by the province, expires July 15. Company officials have said it will not include fracking, which would require a separate permit. It was MacDonald’s fear the municipality could be viewed as anti-business, and scare away employment in the process, he said. MacDonald noted the council didn’t hear from oil industry insiders. It also didn’t invite provincial officials to speak at any of its three public meetings held on the issue, he said. … Service Nova Scotia Minister John MacDonell has stated the bylaw would be a “moot point” since the province isn’t issuing permits allowing fracking. The provincial government is conducting a technical and policy review of the practice with a decision on whether the province would change its fracking policy expected once the review is complete next year. Inverness County Warden Duart MacAulay said he doesn’t dispute the province’s jurisdiction over mineral rights. The bylaw is about the municipality’s right to protect the health of its residents and the surrounding environment, he said. MacAulay said the bylaw has received widespread support from the community. “I know the province has some problems with it but we feel that we can defend what’s written in the bylaw,” he said. “I think if someone takes their time, looks at the bylaw they will see why we’re not allowing fracking to happen in the county. …We’re also looking at the health and well-being of our residents.” No one from the gallery at Monday’s meeting spoke out against the proposed bylaw. West Lake Ainslie resident Kelly Baye said the movement against fracking is strong because so many people have researched the negative health effects associated with the mining practice. “I have four children, a fifth one on the way. I need fresh water for my children,” she said. “My one son’s autistic and some days the only way I can get him to school is by getting him in the tub. What would I do if I didn’t have fresh water for my children?” [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

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“I have four children, a fifth one on the way. I need fresh water for my children,” she said.

farming not fracking
water not fracking

children not fracking
life not fracking

how many ways
must we tell our government?

farming not fracking
food not radioactive isotopes

clean air not sour gas emissions
health not future cancers

children not fracking
water not fracking

how many combinations
of the truth must we use?

must we be the experiments
for our governments that will be

in conducted in dollars and cents?
and in the trust that is broken?

why are we the guinea pigs
for their closed door decisions?

do we live in a democracy
or in red China in Canada?

when the voices of the people are ignored
can we say we are represented by the government?

who will speak for our children?
and our land air and water?

it will not be the government of Alberta
or the government of Canada

we have been betrayed by the Conservatives
who have fracked our democracy to kingdom come

the future comes
and it is fracked to death

so let us go
with our children

to the government
and ask for peace now from the fracking wars

who will ask for a ceasefire first?
let it be the citizens of Alberta

who rise up from their fracked wells in Rosebud
to speak in their own defense (because our government

has sold them out
as proven by the case of Jessica Ernst)

let us not be afraid
but speak proudly to our government

and say we will not tolerate
these depraved practices against us

we will be obeyed
and we will vote for our children’s sake

we will be obeyed
farming not fracking

water not fracking
children not fracking

by Julie Ali, Reading Children’s Books

Through the Looking Glass Boutique, Manorhamilton, Republic of Ireland

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