Timing is right for a fracking ban to protect Ontario from NAFTA lawsuits says Council of Canadians

Timing is right for a fracking ban to protect Ontario from NAFTA lawsuits says Council of Canadians by exchangemagazine, December 4, 2012
Ottawa – The Council of Canadians is pointing to recent lawsuits under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as strong reasons to ban fracking in Ontario now. The Council says there is also a disconnect between what retiring premier Dalton McGuinty is telling media and what the Ontario government has been doing. “Either McGuinty doesn’t know what’s going on in the province or he’s hiding what the Ontario Geological Survey and Ministry of Natural Resources have been doing in the last three years,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson for the Council of Canadians. “If Ontario isn’t ready to allow fracking to happen, why are they promoting shale gas development in the province?” In 2010, the Ministry of Natural Resources released an aerial survey of shale formations in Ontario with the purpose of assisting gas companies in exploration. The Ontario Geological Survey recently released a report detailing drilling programs that took place in Southern Ontario to obtain shale gas samples. The report was part of a three year study assessing shale gas potential in the Great Lakes Basin. “The Ontario government has been trying to attract industries to frack in Ontario before consulting First Nations and communities. At the very least, we need a full public debate and provincial review on fracking now that the government has assessed shale gas potential in the provinces,” says Emma Lui, Water Campaigner, Council of Canadians. “Once the government issues exploration permits, it becomes much more difficult to rescind these permits if they decide fracking is harmful, given trade agreements such as NAFTA. Ontario is already the target of $1.5 billion worth of NAFTA investor lawsuits – we can’t risk any other lawsuits.” Calgary-based company Lone Pine, which is incorporated in Delaware, recently announced that it plans to sue the Canadian government under Chapter 11 of NAFTA because the Quebec government cancelled permits to explore for shale gas. Windstream Energy LLC also recently filed a notice of its intent to file a claim under NAFTA because of the impact Ontario’s moratorium on offshore wind farms had on their project. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to: The Assessment Review Board Reduces Methane Contaminated Property’s Taxation Value to Zero

Holding Frackers Accountable for Groundwater Pollution: An Analysis of Canada’s Liability Regimes for Hydraulic Fracturing

Ottawa sued over Quebec fracking ban, Ontario Smacked by U.S. NAFTA Lawsuit on Fracking

Council of Canadians slams gas fracking in Ontario

Stop Fracking Ontario

Company buys 23,000 acres of land in Ontario for fracking operations

Alberta firm eyes Ontario’s untapped shale gas by Tyler Hamilton, March 20, 2010, Toronto Star
Calgary-based Mooncor Oil & Gas Corp. wants to develop a resource in Ontario that has been largely overlooked by its rivals: shale gas. … It has already locked up nearly 23,000 acres (9.30776 hecatres) of land in Lambton and Kent counties and is preparing to spin off a separate company called DRGN Resources that will focus its efforts on both conventional and unconventional gas drilling. [Emphasis added]

2007 Testimony to Parliamentary Committee on water contamination and non-disclosure of chemicals used in shallow hydraulic fracturing

AEA: Support to the identification of potential risks for the environment and human health arising from hydrocarbons operations involving hydraulic fracturing in Europe ”A proportion (25% to 100%) of the water used in hydraulic fracturing is not recovered, and consequently this water is lost permanently to re-use, which differs from some other water uses in which water can be recovered and processed for re-use.” [Emphasis added]

Resolution no. 69/2011 Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing by Assembly of First Nations, Special Chiefs Assembly

Radon threats are grounds for precaution

The National Energy Board’s 2009 Primer for Understanding Canadian Shale Gas – Energy Briefing Note 
“Flow-back water is infrequently reused in other fracs because of the potential for corrosion or scaling, where the dissolved salts may precipitate out of the water and clog parts of the well or the formation.” … “Drilling and hydraulically fracturing wells can be water-intensive procedures; however, there is very limited Canadian experience from which to estimate potential environmental impacts.” ]

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