Global Round Dance by Kate Hersberger
We all can join this dance together to discover together the unique relationship we can have with each other and our environment. This is not about perfection but about potential Idle No More
Join us on April 22 for EARTH DAY at Blue Quills First Nations College (BQFNC)
As we come together in Solidarity to listen & learn about Environmental Issues
Time: 12noon – 4:00pm
Speakers: Sylvia McAdam (Co-Founder, Idle No More)
Janice Makokis (Educator, BQFNC)
Jesse Cardinal (Keepers of the Athabasca)
Benny Badger (Idle No More Organizer, Kehewin Cree Nation)
Featured Speaker: Jessica Ernst
“Fracking Community: Actions & Omissions Speak Louder than Words”
Editorial: Ottawa’s muzzling of librarians’ free speech is intolerable by Calgary Herald, March 25, 2013
Ottawa’s deliberate muzzling of federal librarians and archivists, a move which comes complete with a new code of conduct, jargon about “high-risk” activities, threats of discipline, and a hotline to rat out miscreants, is truly chilling. Librarians and archivists would seem to be the most innocuous of souls, so it’s hard to imagine what activity they could engage in that would be so “high risk” as to merit this type of censure. These are the folks who give talks at schools, speak at conferences, address groups of amateur genealogy enthusiasts, and publicly discuss the preservation of historic texts, among other educational activities. Yet, according to the new code of conduct, all of these activities – done on the librarians’ own time away from work – must now be approved ahead of time by their managers.
The new code covers the gamut of employees at Libraries and Archives Canada – staff, student assistants, workers on contract to the department, and even volunteers. It talks about the obligation of maintaining a “duty of loyalty to the Government of Canada” which extends “beyond our workplace to our personal activities.” One would think that librarians and archivists are at grave risk of selling secrets to Canada’s enemies in their spare time, rather than helping to educate their audiences about history. “Teaching, speaking at conferences, and other personal engagements,” the code says, “have been identified as high risk … with regard to conflict of interest, conflict of duties and duty of loyalty.” The code was assembled by officials at Libraries and Archives Canada, after last April’s Values and Ethics Code for federal government employees came into being, mandating that each department establish its own conduct code.
Some of those codes may well be merited in departments where highly sensitive information is handled, but only rampant and absolutely unwarranted paranoia could see a need for it among employees whose job is to preserve and disseminate historic and reference information for the public. Before any LAC employee can accept a speaking engagement, six criteria have to be met – including that the subject matter not be related to LAC. That effectively rules out anyone sharing their knowledge with the general public. The code appears overly concerned with what an employee might say about the federal government, and even says limited-access blogs may be reason to discipline an employee because such a blog could negate the duty of loyalty to the government. … However, when librarians and archivists give talks about their work, about history or about document preservation, they are educating the public. Speaking at a conference about the role of archivists, for example, cannot by anyone’s wildest imagination be construed as disloyal. This unwarranted dictate severely limiting the librarians’ and archivists’ freedom of speech is intolerable and must be reversed. [Emphasis added]
Harper Conservatives Are Afraid Of Librarians by Huffingtonpost.ca, March 19, 2013
New Democrat Andrew Cash wants to know why Heritage Minister James Moore and other Harper Conservatives are so terrified.. of librarians. The Toronto MP rose in Question Period on Monday afternoon to shine a light on a controversial new code of conduct at Library and Archives Canada that some fear will muzzle federal librarians.
“According to the Conservatives, there is a new threat: librarians,” he said to some laughs. “And their ‘high risk activities.’ Activities like teaching and conferences.”
The document says that federal librarians and archivists who attend conferences, visit classrooms or speak at public meetings are engaging in “high risk activities” and must receive clearance from their department. Cash says the code of conduct even requires “duty of loyalty” to the Conservative government.
“Now I have always suspected that facts and science stirs the fear in the hearts of some members opposite,” Cash said. “But why is the minister so afraid of librarians?” …
University of Toronto archivist Loryl MacDonald told The National Post that the code is already having a “chilling” effect on federal librarians and archivists, who used to be encouraged to interact with groups.
“It is very disturbing and disconcerting to have included speaking at conferences and teaching as so-called ‘high risk’ activities,” she said. Of course, this isn’t the first time the Harper Conservatives have been accused of “muzzling” thinkers. [Emphasis added]
Federal librarians fear being ‘muzzled’ under new code of conduct that stresses ‘duty of loyalty’ to the government by Margaret Munro, Postmedia News, March 15, 2013, Financial Post
Federal librarians and archivists who set foot in classrooms, attend conferences or speak up at public meetings on their own time are engaging in “high risk” activities, according to the new code of conduct at Library and Archives Canada. Given the dangers, the code says the department’s staff must clear such “personal” activities with their managers in advance to ensure there are no conflicts or “other risks to LAC.”
“Once you start picking on librarians and archivists, it’s pretty sad,” says Toni Samek, a professor of library and information studies at the University of Alberta. She specializes in intellectual freedom and describes several clauses in the code as “severe” and “outrageous.” The code is already having a “chilling” effect on federal archivists and librarians, who used to be encouraged to actively engage and interact with groups interested in everything from genealogy to preserving historical documents, says archivist Loryl MacDonald at the University of Toronto. “It is very disturbing and disconcerting to have included speaking at conferences and teaching as so-called ‘high risk’ activities,” says MacDonald, who is president of the Association of Canadian Archivists, a non-profit group representing some 600 archivists across the country. She says the association’s board will ask Daniel Caron, deputy head of Library and Archives Canada, for clarification about the code and its “harsh” wording. MacDonald says federal archivists are leaders in the field both nationally and internationally and have traditionally spent a lot of personal time on professional activities. They have served as editors for publications such as Archivaria, a widely cited journal, written about developments and issues in the archival world and led workshops for historical and genealogy groups. “Could someone from the LAC be on the editorial board of a journal that contains an article critical of LAC?” MacDonald asks. “The code appears to now rule out such activities, unless they are sanctioned by managers at the LAC.” Given the wording of the code, she says it appears the government no longer trusts its professional staff. “It’s really tragic,” she says.
The code — “Library and Archives Canada’s Code of Conduct: Values and Ethics” — came into effect in January, says Richard Provencher, LAC’s senior communications adviser. He says the code was written by LAC in response to the April 2012 Values and Ethics Code for the public sector, which called for federal departments to establish their own codes of conduct. Provencher said by email that information sessions for employees are being held to ensure the new code “is known and understood by all.” … The 23-page document is to be followed by everyone at LAC from full-time staff to students, volunteers and contractors. It spells out values, potential conflicts of interest and expected behaviours, both on the job and off. “As public servants, our duty of loyalty to the Government of Canada and its elected officials extends beyond our workplace to our personal activities,” the code says, adding that public servants “must maintain awareness of their surroundings, their audience and how their words or actions could be interpreted (or misinterpreted).”…
Provencher had no comment when asked to explain why teaching and attending conferences are identified as “high risk” or why interacting with individuals or groups that interact with the LAC has been ruled out. John Smart, who recently retired from archival teaching at Algonquin College and worked for almost 20 years at LAC, says it used to be considered an “honour” for LAC staff to be invited to talk at conferences. “It wasn’t seen as high risk but as high benefit,” says Smart. Like MacDonald, he notes that staff from the LAC have worked on their own time over the years to help foster Canada’s national and provincial archivist associations and groups. Smart suspects the new code reflects a “generalized suspicion of public servants” by the Harper government. And he says LAC managers are likely not keen to have staff fielding questions about funding cuts and changes at LAC, which are eliminating several specialist archive positions; moving to digitalize materials; and reducing public access to archival collections. “My perception of Library and Archives Canada is that it’s an institution in great trouble generally,” says Smart. “It is making decisions and changing policies that are making both its employees and its clientele upset.” [Emphasis added]
Federal librarians warned about ‘high risk’ activities like attending conferences, visiting classrooms or speaking at meetings by Margaret Munro, March 15, 2013, Calgary Herald
Federal librarians and archivists who set foot in classrooms, attend conferences or speak up at public meetings on their own time are engaging in “high risk” activities, according to the new code of conduct at Library and Archives Canada. Given the dangers, the code says the department’s staff must pre-clear such “personal” activities with their managers to ensure there are no conflicts or “other risks to LAC.” The code, which stresses federal employees’ “duty of loyalty” to the “duly elected government,” also spells out how offenders can be reported. “It includes both a muzzle and a snitch line,” says James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, which represents more than 68,000 teachers, librarians, researchers and academics across the country. He and others say the code is evidence the Harper government is silencing and undermining its professional staff. “Once you start picking on librarians and archivists, it’s pretty sad,” says Toni Samek, a professor of library and information studies at the University of Alberta. She specializes in intellectual freedom and describes several clauses in the code as “severe” and “outrageous.”
The code is already having a “chilling” effect on federal archivists and librarians, who used to be encouraged to actively engage and interact with groups interested in everything from genealogy to preserving historical documents, says archivist Loryl MacDonald at the University of Toronto. “It is very disturbing and disconcerting to have included speaking at conferences and teaching as so-called ‘high risk’ activities,” says MacDonald, who is president of the Association of Canadian Archivists, a non-profit group representing some 600 archivists across the country. She says the association’s board will ask Daniel Caron, deputy head of Library and Archives Canada, for clarification about the code and its “harsh” wording. … Given the wording of the code, she says it appears the government no longer trusts it’s professional staff. “It’s really tragic,” she says. The code, entitled “Library and Archives Canada’s Code of Conduct: Values and Ethics,” came into effect in January, says Richard Provencher, LAC’s senior communications adviser. He says the code was written by LAC in response to the April 2012 Values and Ethics Code for the public sector, which called for federal departments to establish their own codes of conduct. Provencher said by email that information sessions for employees are now being held to ensure the new code “is known and understood by all.” “LAC has invited all of its employees to provide feedback and suggestions during the ongoing information sessions,” Provencher said, noting that the feedback will “ inform any future iterations of our code.” The 23-page document is to be followed by everyone at LAC from full-time staff to students, volunteers and contractors. It spells out values, potential conflicts of interest and expected behaviours, both on the job and off. “As public servants, our duty of loyalty to the Government of Canada and its elected officials extends beyond our workplace to our personal activities,” the code says, adding that public servants “must maintain awareness of their surroundings, their audience and how their words or actions could be interpreted (or misinterpreted).” It points to the dangers of social media. ”For example, in a blog with access limited to certain friends, personal opinions about a new departmental or Government of Canada program intended to be expressed to a limited audience can, through no fault of the public servant, become public and the author identified.” “The public servant could be subject to disciplinary measures, as the simple act of limiting access to the blog does not negate a public servant’s duty of loyalty to the elected government,” says the code. “Only authorized spokespersons can issue statements or make comments about LAC’s position on a given subject.”
One of the most contentious sections of the code deals with “teaching, speaking at conferences, and other personal engagements.” “On occasion, LAC employees may be asked by third parties to teach or to speak at or be a guest at conferences as a personal activity or part-time employment,” it says. “Such activities have been identified as high risk to LAC and to the employee with regard to conflict of interest, conflict of duties and duty of loyalty.” The code says employees may accept such invitations “as personal activities” if six conditions are met: The subject of the activity is not related to the LAC’s mandate or activities; the employee is not presented as speaking for or being an expert of LAC or the Government of Canada; the third party that made the invitation is not a potential or current supplier or collaborator with LAC; the third party does not lobby or advocate with LAC and does not receive grants, funding or payments from LAC; and the employee has discussed the invitation with his or her manager “who has documented confirmation that the activity does not conflict with the employee’s duties at LAC or present other risks to LAC.” MacDonald, Turk and Samek say the six conditions appear to rule out federal librarians or archivists interacting on their own time with academics or heritage or genealogy groups and associations, as they may lobby, collaborate and receive funding from the LAC. “If I worked there and my kid’s school invited me to talk about my work as an archivist in Canada, I’m not sure I’d even feel comfortable doing that.” says Samek. She says it is ironic, and disturbing, that the code is being applied at an institution meant to be dedicated to the preservation and sharing of information. “This is a cultural icon we are talking about,” says Samek, who expects the code to have a “demoralizing, self-censuring” effect on the LAC staff.
Provencher had no comment when asked to explain why teaching and attending conference are identified as “high risk” or why interacting with individuals or groups that interact with the LAC has been ruled out. John Smart, who recently retired from archival teaching at Algonquin College and worked for almost 20 years at LAC, says it used to be considered an “honour” for LAC staff to be invited to talk at conferences. “It wasn’t seen as high risk but as high benefit,” [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to: Ermächtigungsgesetz ]
Return to Alberta March 12, reunited with Magic at midnight
Meg Rybicki and Jessica Ernst present on frac’ing in Dublin, Smock Alley Theatre, Exchange Street Lower, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, 8 PM March 11, 2013, Republic of Ireland
We’ve had an amazing response to our planned talk with Jessica Ernst on Monday night. We had booked a space with room for 70, but by Wednesday all 70 tickets had been reserved and our waiting list was already filling up! So we’ve booked an even bigger space in The Smock Alley to hold More people! Book now to secure your place for Monday’s 6.30pm talk. The reports from around the country, where Jessica has been speaking, are of a very powerful presentation on the impact of fracking in Canada. …
The campaign against Fracking in Ireland scored a notable victory yesterday. Minister Fergus O’Dowd announced that two companies have applied for exploration licences to frack but that no decision will be made on their applications until the EPA research on Fracking is published, and considered by Government.
With the EPA research not expected until early 2015 this amounts to an effective 2-year moratorium on fracking.
Criostoir Mac Cuirc Shell to Sea and Jessica Ernst present at National University of Ireland, Maynouth, 12 Noon, March 11, 2013
Jessica Ernst Canadian Scientist Living Frac’d presents at Ireland’s Natural Resources Not for Sale Conference Gresham Hotel, Dublin March 10, 2013, Republic of Ireland
March 9, 2013: Walk in Ashdown Forest, UK
This afternoon, after giving her powerful “Fracking Community” presentation on International Womens’ Day in Balcombe last night, Jessica walked on Ashdown Forest, the land of Winnie the Pooh…. This evening she is already back on the Emerald Isle…. Photo by BIFF! (Britain and Ireland Frack Free)
“Nobody came to me and said, ‘here’s the choice: light? .. or water?’ “
“When there’re hurricanes, floods, locusts, hail .. the governments help people. When you are frac’d – there’s no aftercare.”
Source: The Art of Remembering: the Neville Lytton First World War Frescos and the Balcombe Victory Hall
[The venue needed to be changed to the Victory Hall because of a norovirus outbreak at the Balcombe School Hall]
Fracking Community A Talk with Canadian Scientist Jessica Ernst at The United Reform Church, St. Georges Road, St. Annes March 7, 2013, United Kingdom
Tina Louise and Jessica Ernst during Q and A, St Annes, Lancashire UK
Jessica Ernst, Lucy Cooke and Ian Roberts at Cuadrilla’s Frac Site on March 7, Anna’s Road, Lancashire, UK
Jobs for Locals?
Jessica Ernst, Ian Roberts and Lucy Cooke, one of Cuadrilla’s straw bale walls at Anna’s Road frac site, Lancashire UK
Jessica Ernst at Stormont, Parliament of Northern Ireland March 6, 2013
Jessica Ernst and Steven Agnew at Stormont, March 6, 2013
Jessica Ernst in Dublin March 5, 2013, after presenting at Oireachtas Éireann, signing Application for a Licence Not to Frack Ireland
Jessica Ernst at Old Ground Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare 71 Min. by Clare Fracking Concern, March 4, 2013, Republic of Ireland
Eddie Mitchel, Leitrim Farmer talks about fracing at Old Ground Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare 18 Min. by Clare Fracking Concern, March 4, 2013
Jessica Ernst at Leitrim Village Community Centre Fracking Community: Actions and Omissions Speak Louder than Words March 2, 2013, Republic of Ireland
March 2, 2013, Jessica Ernst on a walk in Glenfarne after 24 hours of travel
Lough Mac Nean
Admiring clean water – a lost natural resource in Alberta
Public Health Issues concerning Shale Gas Development and Fracking Presentation in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland on January 28, 2013 by Dr. Eilish Cleary, Chief Medical Officer of Health, New Brunswick, Canada
Fracking and health: a unique opportunity by Dr Carroll O’Dolan, Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners & Chairperson of Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network, December 11, 2012
Review of Dr. Eilish Cleary’s presentation by Jean-Paul Bourque, Moncton, New Brunswick, November 15, 2012
Last night I spent 3 hours at Moncton’s Central(Methodist) United Church located just down the street. There I heard Dr. Eilish Cleary, the Province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, speak to her September 2012 Government Report on public health impacts of shale gas development. Close to 200 people attended the Church’s Assembly Hall; CBC and other media stayed throughout the entire evening, and even shale gas company officials and their shills spoke at the public microphone. Strong moments were (a) the 6-7 minute standing ovation following Dr. Cleary’s presentation,(b) an Albert Co. citizen’s question about what can be done to stop 15 shale gas wells surrounding his rural property from being hydraulically fractured under Government permits,(c) a statement by biologist Karen White, an environmental health expert in Dr. Cleary’s Office, describing her panel participation during a recent public health conference at the U. of Pittsburgh PA,(d) energetic testimony from a Fredericton doctor determined not to stand idle should the Province approve shale gas hydraulic fracturing, and (e) an emotional description by a strong and ostensibly healthy young man of his past 3 years’ experience doing nitrogen hydraulic fracturing in Alberta’s natural gas fields, ending his testimony and the evening with a THANK YOU to Dr. Cleary along with a sigh of relief that “…spouse, children and myself have moved back to N.B. and are now 3000 miles away from that hell.” [Emphasis added]
Source: Branch Graphic Design Inc.
Canadian Extractive Industry, Human Rights & the Law: Lawyer Cory Wanless to Speak on Fracking in Canada
November 8th, 7 PM, St Paul’s Anglican Church, Antigonish; and
November 9th, at the annual gathering of the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network at the Tatamagouche Centre
Responsible Energy Action and Antigonish Breaking the Silence are hosting a presentation by Cory Wanless, of the progressive Toronto law firm Klippensteins, Barristers & Solicitors
Klippensteins is currently counsel to Alberta oil consultant Jessica Ernst in her lawsuit against the oil company EnCana, the ERCB and Alberta Government for the contamination of her water through shallow hydraulic fracturing. They are also representing community members from El Estor, Guatemala in a civil suit against the Canadian company HudBay Minerals, Inc. In 2010, Klippensteins represented filmmaker Steven Schnoor in a successful defamation lawsuit against Canadian Ambassador to Guatemala Kenneth Cook,who had made false claims that Mr Schnoor’s documentary misrepresented the eviction of residents of El Estor by Vancouver-based nickel mining company Skye Resources.
[Refer also to: Breaking the silence ]
WATCH: Jessica Ernst and Peter von Tiesenhausen Panel 1 hour 33 Min., includes Q and A, by Mount Royal University Under Western Skies 2, February 22, 2013
The Great Getaway: Secrets of a Frac Cover-Up Plenary Panel with Jessica Ernst and Peter von Tiesenhausen Mount Royal University Under Western Skies 2, Calgary, Alberta, October 12, 2012
Ernst spoke about four aspects of frac’ing culture and politics in Alberta: 1). breaking the law to frac in secret; 2). punishing citizens who ask questions; 3). investigating frac’ing without investigating in order to ensure that experiments continue; and 4). using Alberta Innovates (previously Alberta Research Council) to conceal public water testing data.
Permalink to: The Great Getaway: Secrets of a Frac Cover-Up
Without warning, Keepers of the Water remove Jessica Ernst off the Hydraulic Fracturing panel, leaving Ben Parfitt, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Ken Paulson, Chief Operating Officer of the BC Oil and Gas Commission; Keepers replaced Jessica with a Pembina Institute representative and left her stranded with no flight home September 26-29, 2012 · Fort Nelson, BC
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu
Jessica Ernst presents at Yukon College, with Q and A, September 24, 2012 60 Min. by ZET Group, January 26, 2013
Part 1 only of 3: Hydraulic Fracturing Presentation by Jessica Ernst at Yukon College, Whitehorse 20:05 Min. video by eco researcher, January 2, 2012
Jessica Ernst at Cortland Health Dept. New York May 24, 2012
Jessica Ernst at Elmira, Owego, Ithaca, La Fayette New York May 21 – 24, 2012
Truth and Consequences of Fracking 74 min. by ShaleShockMedia
Ms. Ernst tells her story of living frac’d and presents both industry and regulatory research showing the impact of industry-caused gas migration into ground water. She is introduced by Dr. Anthony R. Ingraffea, the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering, School of Civil Engineering at Cornell University. D. Ingraffea is Director of Cornell Fracture Group, Acting Director of the Cornell Theory Center, and Principal/Co-principal investigator of over M in sponsored RD at Cornell. He specializes in fracture mechanics.
Questions and Answers after Truth and Consequences of Fracking 45 min. by ShaleShockMedia
Dr. Anthony R. Ingraffea, the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering, School of Civil Engineering at Cornell University joins Jessica Ernst for the Q and A session
Jessica Ernst at Bath (Steuben County) New York May 21, 2012
Jessica Ernst and Kevin Heatley at Traverse City & Gaylord, Michigan May 18 & 19, 2012
Jessica Ernst at Traverse City, Michigan by newculture, June 5, 2012
Jessica Ernst at Prince Albert Saskatchewan April 22, 2012
Permalink to: 2012 04 22 Jessica Ernst at Prince Albert Saskatchewan
Jessica Ernst at Knee Hill Valley Constituency of the Alberta Women’s Institute Trochu, Alberta March 31, 2012
Dr. Karlis Muehlenbachs at University of Alberta Edmonton March 21, 2012
Fracturing: How to assess its impact on groundwater: Lessons from Alberta, Canada
Jessica Ernst at Augustana Campus, University of Alberta Camrose March 8, 2012.
Jessica Ernst at the Teachers Club in Dublin Republic of Ireland February 25, 2012
Jessica Ernst at Glenfarne Republic of Ireland, Ballroom of Romance February 24, 2012
Jessica Ernst at Carrick on Shannon Republic of Ireland February 23, 2012
Interview between the presentation and questions and answers:
RTÉ (Ireland) Prime Time on Frac’ing: Katie Hannon reports on fracking and the battle for hearts and minds over one of the most contentious subjects at the moment. 15:47 min. February 23, 2012
Jessica Ernst at Belcoo Northern Ireland February 21, 2012
Permalink to: 2012 02 21 Jessica Ernst at Belcoo Northern Ireland
Jessica Ernst at St Peter’s Abbey Muenster Saskatchewan January 28, 2012
Jessica Ernst at Memramcook with Florian Levesque New Brunswick December 10, 2011
Jessica Ernst at Upham New Brunswick December 9, 2011
Jessica Ernst at Tatamagouche Nova Scotia December 8, 2011
Permalink to: 2011 12 08 Jessica Ernst at Tatamagouche Nova Scotia
Jessica Ernst at Lake Ainslie, Cape Breton Nova Scotia December 4, 2011
Dr. Tony Ingraffea and Jessica Ernst at Halifax Nova Scotia December 2, 2011
EnCana frac’d the blue icing by Jessica Ernst, Halifax, Nova Scotia December 2, 2011
Jessica Ernst at the University of Lethbridge Alberta November 24, 2011
Identifying the Sources of Fugitive Methane Associated with Shale Gas Development, updated January 2012 with new data by Karlis Muehlenbachs, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. Original presented on November 14, 2011 at Managing the risks of shale gas: Identifying a pathway toward responsible development held at Resources For the Future, Washington, DC.
More than 70% of casing gases do not come from target zone, but from intermediate layers
To identify specific sources of gas contamination in groundwater we need to mandate baseline isotopic fingerprinting of methane, ethane and propane for:
–Pre-development water wells
–Detailed gas isotope stratigraphy (mudgas isotope log)
– conductor, surface and intermediate casings
– legacy wells if present
– natural seeps, springs and soil.
*The above requirements are not onerous.
Jessica Ernst at the University of Alberta Edmonton October 27, 2011
Jessica Ernst at the United Nations Church Centre: There’s a hole in their story New York October 1, 2011
UNANIMA International Woman of Courage Award Presentation to Jessica Ernst New York October 1, 2011
POWERSAlberta Frack Workshop Cochane, Alberta September 10, 2011
POWERSAlberta Frack Workshop in Cochrane Mike Bruised Head of the Blood Tribe First Nation 8:27 Min. by Will Koop, September 10, 2011, BC Tap Water Alliance, uploaded by Will Koop, September 18, 2011
Jessica Ernst presents at POWERSAlberta Frack Workshop in Cochrane 68 Min. by Will Koop, September 10, 2011, BC Tap Water Alliance, uploaded by Will Koop, December 2, 2012
It is a telling and tragic tale of what happened to Ernst in her community of Rosebud, Alberta, after energy giant Encana fracked her aquifer and surrounding lands in about 2004, lands still being fracked to this day (December 2, 2012). [Emphasis added]
Jessica Ernst a fait une présentation “powerpoint” enAlbertale 10 septembre 2011 pour raconter ce qu’elle et sa communauté à Rosebud ont vécus. La compagnie EnCana y fait des forages et des fracturations depuis bien des années. Plusieurs puits d’eau potable sont contaminés, dont celui de Jessica.
Je vais vous résumer rapidement le contenu de chacun des YouTube de la présentation de Jessica ici:
Permalink to: 2011 09 10 POWERSAlberta Frack Workshop
Ellen Alston speaks at community workshop on fracing in Cochrane, Alberta about her family’s contaminated well water September 10, 2011
Permalink to: Ellen Alston Speaks
Is hydraulic fracturing safe and sustainable? Presentation by Jessica Ernst on May 3, 2011 in New York City at the United Nations 19th Commission on Sustainable Development
Permalink to: Is hydraulic fracturing safe and sustainable?
Fractured Lines: Will Canada’s Water be Protected in the Rush to Develop Shale Gas? by Ben Parfitt for the Program on Water Issues, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, October 14, 2010.
Legal Liability Issues: Investors, Industry and Governments (Five Parts) Afternoon Session Panel. Panel members: Stephen Dvorkin, Partner, Dickstein Shapiro LLP, New York, NY; Wally Braul, Partner, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, Calgary, Alberta; Jon Jensen, Executive Director, Park Foundation, Ithica, New York.
Ms. Jessica Ernst (Environmental Specialist, Ernst Environmental Services) Testimony, May 8, 2007:
Good morning. Bonjour.
I grew up in Montreal. I now live in Alberta. I'm very sorry, but I have forgotten all my French. I live near Rosebud, Alberta. It's a small, little-theatre cultural town with a lot of beautiful historic resource.
I have worked in the oil patch for 25 years. I have also been banished by the regulator that Mr. David Pryce was so proudly discussing earlier in his presentation. I believe I was banished—this was in writing—by the energy regulator because they were trying to intimidate me.
I have evidence of EnCana Corporation not complying with the noise regulations, and the EUB actually covering up for the non-compliance in writing. I believe that the EUB, the regulator, did this to try to silence me. They copied the RCMP. So I'm very surprised that you, honourable members, here have allowed me to speak, because I do believe this was the first time this had happened in Alberta. I have been informed that the banishment was a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights.
I grew up proud to be a Canadian. I grew up proud of our water, of our leadership on peace and mediation, and environmental issues globally. I have worked in other parts of the world. I have to admit, I'm ashamed to be Canadian now, and I plead to you all as this committee to listen carefully and review the documents, and carefully consider whether the federal government needs to get involved.
I have never seen such atrocities in my 25-year career of working in the oil patch as I have now seen in the boom: human rights violations, environmental degradation, and disrespect of the legislation and the regulations.
In regard to noise, the other day when I was leaving from the airport, the night before I left, the compressor noise—we're surrounded by 13 EnCana compressors—drove me to distraction. Occasionally the noise is mitigated, but not always. There's a straw-bale wall surrounding these compressors.
I have direct experience with the water. This is my water, on fire, from my tap, poured into a pop bottle, a water bottle. There is no sugar in there. A few minutes later I set it on fire. I've lived in my place since 1998, 50 acres. CBM came and my water dramatically changed--a chemical burst on my skin and eyes. My dogs not only refused to drink the water, but they would back up. White smoke was coming off the water.
There were whistling taps. I didn't know what it was. I was really busy. I thought it was my plumbing. I thought, “Oh my goodness, I have to replace the taps.” Little did I know that I was living in an explosive time bomb. It was methane and other hydrocarbons coming out of my taps. Sometimes I couldn't even close my taps there was so much gas. I couldn't get suds out of my soap or shampoo anymore; the water changed.
Also, living rurally, you know you get stains on your plumbing and toilets—sorry to speak so intimately. All of a sudden my toilets went pristine, brand new. Something got rid of the stains, I think probably what was burning my skin.
Mr. Pryce mentioned the good regulations. This happened in 2004. These are the two aquifers in my community. This is an EnCana well. It fractured into—into—our aquifers. So the protection and the separation that was discussed is not possible. Perforations, which explode through the casing, and then the fracs, and who knows what solvents went into our aquifers?
In the States, EnCana was found to contaminate groundwater and did not protect health and safety.
This again is another picture of my water, a different picture. I don't do this in the house anymore because the flame exploded so high it shot up to the ceiling. I'm a blur in the picture—this is me here—because I had to jump; it scared me.
We have one out of 20 resource wells leaking. The landowner in an investigation is usually blamed, instead of comprehensive testing of the resource wells. There are ways to find out which gas wells are leaking. They can be fixed. In this case, EnCana has stated publicly that they do not need to cooperate with this investigation because they don't believe in the science that can lead to finding out which wells are leaking.
The regulators misinform the public. We have thousands of resource wells leaking.
The new testing that came up only began when a number of concerned citizens went to the legislature and went to the public. The MAC committee was still in deliberation. I believe the testing requirements wouldn't have happened.
We have now had, finally, a number of years of CBM, but our knowledge on groundwater is behind. The precautionary principle: where is it?
In 2005, industry advised the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board that some of their shallow fracs were damaging oil and gas wells. So they brought in some new rules. These rules should have been brought in before they began the experiments, especially for our drinking water.
This is a water well that exploded last spring. The farmer had dealt for three years with the regulator--the so-called best regulator. What's wrong with this picture? Three men were seriously injured on sampling day. After contamination, some companies refused to cough up the data that was needed to investigate and remediate.
This is a diagram that the AEUB, the energy board, and Alberta Environment go to the public with. They say it never happens. Oh, no, there is no leaking.
By the way, methane is a much worse greenhouse gas than CO2, and we have thousands of these leaking methane directly into the atmosphere. There is surface casing vent flow, and gas migration through soils. The interesting thing is that the AEUB, in 2007, is even warning that the gas leakage and the gas migration potential is worse in the shallow zones. This is where we're going to be doing our CBM and where our water is.
In Rosebud water we have 30 milligrams to 66 milligrams of dissolved methane, as well as free gas. CAPP, which is here today on the video, has a report that one milligram puts you at risk of explosion if the water passes through an unventilated place. A light switch, static in my hair, could have blown up my house.
The regulator is still in denial. They have done tests on our water. You have a table. We have benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes in our water. We have ethane, propane, methane, butane, and octanes, and we have kerosene in the community drinking water. In most cases, the landowner is blamed for the contamination by way of bacteria. On the table, you can look at the process we have to go through.
I read your report that came out recently on the chemicals and your Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and I plead with you to please implement this act in Alberta.
We are told that only nitrogen is used, so our water is safe because nitrogen comes from the air. I would like to show you a list. This came from Oilweek. These are a variety of products, hundreds of them, used in different stages of drilling, [f]racking, and servicing. Some of them contain diesel and mineral oil. In Alberta, the regulator does not require industry to disclose any of the chemicals used, not even if they’re toxic, not even if it’s benzene, a known carcinogen, or toluene, which damages the brain, notably in children. Toluene was found in our water.
We need to know what the chemicals are, especially so shallow, and I believe that the federal act is perfect. I noticed in your report this is seldom used and seldom implemented. I would like to ask that you use this and implement it in Alberta and ask the regulators to control the chemicals being used.
I have seen many pallets of chemicals that aren’t even on this list, bags of chemicals that say, “Danger, Unregulated”. Nobody knows what’s inside, driving through playground zones. We don’t know now how to analyze our water. These chemicals could have gone into our water, but we don’t know what to test for.
I also brought with me a pledge to protect our groundwater. You had this translated. I would like to ask every member of Parliament, not just the committee members, to sign this pledge and fax it to Honourable Minister Baird and our Honourable Premier Stelmach.
There are a few things we would like done to protect our groundwater.
CBM can be a fantastic new resource. We can all share in the prosperity. Canada is a fantastic country. I would like to see the Canada I knew as a child come back from corporate rule. I would like to see the people in charge. I would like to see public health and safety protected. There are still people in my community bathing in and drinking water with benzene and toluene. We do not need to harm people to have prosperity.
Coal-bed methane will spread far. The shales are coming. They will spread far. These impacts, violations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, will spread through the country if we continue to allow industry to rule.
The precautionary principle: why are we allowing perforations and fractures into these shallow zones above the base of groundwater protection? Industry still doesn’t know what these shallow perfs and fracs do. They have stated this in writing to the EUB. Why don’t we learn first? We can do an economical mitigation here, slow down, think first, collect some data first. Let’s find out what we’re doing to our groundwater. This is Canada’s water. We all have water on the table here. This water will affect all of us.
The story has been much in the news. I bring one gift for my French friends here today. Quebec journalists are writing three stories on the water situation. In September, I believe, the Rosebud water situation will be published, but they are also writing about climate change. I find it interesting that Quebec is so concerned about what is happening to our water in Alberta that they’re sending journalists out. There is an Alberta Views article. I have copies here for you. They’ve been handed in. Even Canadian Business magazine has published the story about the water. There I am with my water. I can’t live with this water anymore. It’s too dangerous. I have trucked-in water that the Alberta government is supplying and paying for. I’ve lost my independence. I live rurally. I have to rely on trucked-in deliveries. I want my water back. I want to protect water for others.
In conclusion, in my experience, the regulations are not working. The regulators are not working. Instead of dealing with the industry’s non-compliance, they banished an ordinary citizen, considered me a threat to safety and the public. I had just found out when I got this letter from my regulator in Canada, a country that I thought was a democracy, that I was living in danger of explosion from my water. Yes, methane can be natural, but it is normally at very low levels. Nothing like the levels we have after this company, EnCana, fractured directly into our potable water supplies. They have cemented this well off, but we do not know what damage has been done to our aquifers. This is very serious.
Thank you. ]
Permalink to: 2007 Jessica Ernst speaking events
Erin Sexton (National Parks Conservation Association, Glacier Field Office, Whitefish Montana), Karen Campbell (West Coast Environmental Law, Vancouver) and Jessica Ernst present on the Elk Valley Tour SE British Columbia, April 4-6, 2006
April 4, 2006 in Fernie at the Arts Station, 7 PM
April 5, 2006 in Elkford at the Union Hall, 7 PM
April 6, 2006 at the Sparwood Community Centre, 7 PM
Shell, Encana and Ministry of Energy were invited to attend and respond to the presentations.
The Alberta Unconventional Gas Tour March 7 – 9, 2006 Sponsored by The Alberta Surface Rights Federation, Warburg-Pembina Surface Rights Group, Pine Lake Surface Rights Action Group, Butte Action Committee, Livingston Landowners Group, The Pekisko Group, The Parkland Institute and The Land Advocate
Richard Secord LLB (Alberta Lawyer), Tweeti Blanchet (New Mexico Rancher), Gwen Lachelt (Director Oil and Gas Accountability Project) and Jessica Ernst at Camrose, Alberta March 7, 2006, 9:30 PM – 4 PM
Tweeti Blanchet, Gwen Lachelt and Jessica Ernst at Pigeon Lake (Ma Meo Beach Hall), Alberta March 7, 2006, 7 – 9 PM
Richard Secord LLB, Tweeti Blanchet and Gwen Lachelt at University of Alberta, Edmonton Alberta March 8, 2006
Tweeti Blanchet and Gwen Lachelt at University of Calgary, Alberta March 9, 2006
Tweeti Blanchet, Gwen Lachelt, Mike Dawson (Geologist with Canadian Society of Unconventional Gas) and Jessica Ernst at Nanton, Alberta March 9, 2006, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Tweeti Blanchet and Gwen Lachelt and Jessica Ernst at Trochu Alberta March 8, 2006, 7 – 9 PM
Over 600 Alberta landowners attended this event. During standing ovations, industry, government and regulator representations in the audience gave themselves away by not standing, each ovation. ERCB spokesman Darin Barter repeatedly insisted to media and the public that only Americans were on the tour.
What Lies Beneath, Herald Special Report by Renata D’aliesio and Tony Seskus, Front Page and Pages A6-A9 of the Calgary Herald, November 15, 2006 with three subsequent multi-page reports.
“Earlier this year, hundreds of anxious residents packed town halls to try to understand what the industry will mean for them.” Am I a landowner or am I a guinea pig?” rural resident Jessica Ernst told one meeting of landowners in March. … The flyer was provocative. “Profit zones or sacrifice zones?” its bold letters screamed. From the southern prairie town of Nanton to the capital of Alberta, rural community halls and big-city classrooms were abuzz with worry last March about a type of natural gas called coal bed methane, or CBM. “Hear the real truth about CBM’s impact on farmlands, water and quality of life!” Hundreds of people flocked to the town hall forums. …
As debate intensifies, industry officials and government regulators assure Albetans that the pace of development is thoughtful, well-managed and, above all, safe. … Furthermore, they stress, there’s no evidence coal bed methane is causing water woes or other major problems – and all development has been done according to existing provincial regulations. … Government and industry say they’re addressing countryside concerns. But documents obtained through the Freedom of Information legislation suggest the government passed on a chance to tackle some of the thorny issues years before. Fifteen years ago, the government and Alberta’s energy regulator established a task group to monitor coal bed methane activity and recommend regulatory policies and practices for the future. In closed-door meetings, the group was made aware of some of the concerns Albertans have today, according to documents obtained by the Herald.
At a meeting in November 1993, an industry expert told the group he expected coal bed methane development to begin in earnest in the province within five years. But the task group disbanded in September 1995, the documents show, with no public record of making a single recommendation to guide coal bed methane’s future in Alberta. Seven years later, coal bed methane took off, and at least one task group member has regrets. “I guess if we would have really been thinking ahead, we should have realized the coals in Alberta are shallow and those are the ones that would be developed first - and that there would then be an effect on shallow groundwater supply,” says Harold Keushnig, retired manager of the provincial energy regulator’s gas department. “We , the industry, maybe should have thought about that at an earlier stage.” …
The group existed for four years, but a request to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, the province’s energy regulator, for a copy of recommendations, reports or meeting minutes yielded only a 13-page educational pamphlet. “They did not make any recommendations,” says Brenda Poole Bellows, an EUB spokeswoman. …in 1995, the regulator decided to disband the task group, citing limited coal bed drilling, existing regulations, and an expectation the development wouldn’t increase significantly in the next few years. It’s an easy leap to make that it shouldn’t have been disbanded, but we had, and continue to have, very strong regulation related to shallow gas and coal bed methane,” says regulator spokesman Darin Barter. “And the knowledge gained from that group has been very valuable.” … “We still haven’t done an official test site to educate” the public and industry, [Ken Sinclair] says. “It was everybody do their own thing and keep it hush-hush and go forward.”
Today, hundreds of coal bed methane executives and experts are gathering at Calgary’s Telus Convention Centre for the eighth annual unconventional gas conference. … “Gassy wells are a common occurrence in Alberta and have been for decades,” says Chow of the Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas. …
“We’re resisting every single well.”
There weren’t enough chairs to accommodate everyone who came in March to a community hall in Trochu to hear a talk about coal bed methane advertised in the provocative flyer. … At the event in Trochu, Ernst received a standing ovation from landowners in the audience as she detailed her struggles…. Though it’s difficult to gauge exactly how widespread such a sentiment is, evidence obtained from the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board through a freedom of information request found a wide range of issues were boiling below the surface. …
This spring , the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers created a [voluntary] “best management practices”…. In part, it encourages companies to involve the public in all stages of development and provides guidance on how to minimize environmental effects. And the EUB is running two pilot pilot projects that will look at the ways to address cumulative impacts of all petroleum developments in a region.
Source of clippings: What Lies Beneath Herald Report
[The ERCB was heard telling the press that the regulator paid for, organized and put on the tour, which is untrue, the citizenry did. This post is dedicated to Gary Norman]
Permalink to: The 2006 Alberta Unconventional Gas Tour
Jessica Ernst at Granum, Alberta January 26, 2006
Some of the impacts and unresolved concerns to date:
– Entirely lacking, improving to inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information;
– Repeat broken promises and lack of follow through
– human waste – signs of human defecation on leases, private driveways, etc;
– Drilling mud, some of it toxic
– Saline and fresh water from producing wells.
Shallow Fracturing with potentially toxic chemicals in the additives:
– Secret recipes used, no information on possible health hazards provided;
– Vertical coal cleats may fracture open resulting in vertical gas migration;
– Gas may migrate up energy wells into aquifers.
Noise – notably compressors, also rigs, traffic, flaring
Sound is something you can control, i.e. you can turn it on or off. Noise is something you can not control – you can not turn it off – not even at 4 in the morning when you are trying to sleep.
– noise levels exponentially increase as CBM is developed;
– In 2004, EnCana falsified two out of two noise studies in response to my noise complaint, the regulator enabled this.
– there is little escape.
– Increased stress, irritability, anger, lack of sleep, loss of legal right to quiet enjoyment of property
Cumulative effects – living in an industrial invasion with:
– Feelings of loss of control as infrastructure and leases expand;
– Diminished personal rights on surface lands and in homes;
– Government and regulators ineffective at upholding regulations or protecting citizen rights;
– Company “good neighbour” policies sound good but I have not yet seen them happen.
Multitude of unconventional wells requires “flea bitten dog drilling” [referred to by industry as "Carpet Bombing"]
Example of 15 sections around my home:
1-27-22-W4M = 12
2-27-22-W4M = 20
3-27-22-W4M = 6
9-27-22-W4M = 12
10-27-22-W4M = 12
11-27-22-W4M = 11
12-27-22-W4M = 13
13-27-22-W4M = 8 – this is where I live
14-27-22-W4M = 11
15-27-22-W4M = 10
23-27-22-W4M = 13
24-27-22-W4M = 9
6-27-21-W4M = 6
7-27-21-W4M = 10
18-27-21-W4M = 10
Total = 170 wells in 15 sections
Average = 11 per section [as per January 2006]
November 2005, EnCana mailed me a down spacing notification for 7 sections, including the two underlined above. It was the first down spacing notification I received. EnCana wrote:
“There may be four (4) wells per section producing from the same pool.
“The drilling of additional wells in the holdings will enable EnCana expedite gas production and maximize gas recovery…
“These coals are typically developed with four to eight wells per section throughout south-central Alberta.
“Additional wells per section are required due to the tight nature of the coals, from which the gas does not readily drain.”
Permalink to: Jessica Ernst presents at Granum Alberta January 26 2006
Casey Brennon and Jessica Ernst tour First Nations Communities in the Yukon, November 28 – December 2, 2005:
November 28, 2005 at Haines Junction and Beaver Creek
November 29, 2005 at Atlin and Haines Junction
November 30, 2005 at Carcross and Whitehorse
December 01, 2005 at Pelly Crossing and Teslin
December 02, 2005 at Watson Lake
Tweetie Blancett, Brad Stelfox and Jessica Ernst at Cowley, Alberta July 25, 2005
Mike Gatens (CEO MGV Energy Inc. – now Quicksilver; Chair Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas – now Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources) and Jessica Ernst at Hudson’s Hope, British Columbia, April 21, 2005
“Canada has advantage of a regulatory regime that will not allow “negative” U.S. experiences to occur here”