Fracking commission appointed to study shale gas conditions, 3-member commission due to report back to government within one year by CBC News, March 24, 2015
The New Brunswick government has appointed a commission to study hydraulic fracturing and report back to cabinet within one year on whether the government’s conditions for shale gas development can be met. Energy and Mines Minister Donald Arseneault says the government has a responsibility to consider the controversial method of natural gas extraction as a possible way to create jobs. [And poison children?]
The commission will be led by Guy Richard, former chief justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench.
Former UNB president John McLaughlin and former NBCC board chair Cheryl Robertson will serve as deputy commissioners. [What happened to frac patent holder Dr. Maurice Dusseault?]
The Gallant government placed a moratorium on fracking in December 2014.
The Liberals have said the current moratorium will only be lifted if New Brunswickers at large approve, if there is clear and credible information about the impacts of fracking, if there’s a plan to mitigate the impacts on public infrastructure and deal with waste water, if there is a process to consult with First Nations, and if there is a way to maximize the local benefits, such as royalties. [Emphasis added]
Government announces commission to address hydraulic fracturing Press Release by government of New Brunswick, 24 March 2015
The provincial government has appointed a commission to study the issue of hydraulic fracturing and determine whether conditions outlined by the government can be met. “Our government is focused on diversifying our economy in order to create jobs,” [Has the NB government ordered the commission a pre-determined outcome?] said Energy and Mines Minister Donald Arseneault. “That includes the responsible development of our natural resource and energy projects. It is responsible and prudent to do our due diligence and get more information regarding hydraulic fracturing.”
The members of the Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing are:
Commissioner – Guy A. Richard, former chief justice of the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench;
Deputy commissioner – John McLaughlin, former president, University of New Brunswick; and
Deputy commissioner – Cheryl Robertson, former board chair, New Brunswick Community College.
The moratorium will not be lifted unless there is:
- a social licence in place;
- clear and credible information about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on public health, the environment and water, allowing the government to develop a country-leading regulatory regime with sufficient enforcement capabilities;
- a plan in place that mitigates the impacts on public infrastructure and that addresses issues such as waste water disposal;
- a process in place to respect the duty of the provincial government to consult with First Nations; and
- a mechanism in place to ensure that benefits are maximized for New Brunswickers, including the development of a proper royalty structure.
“I am confident in the ability of the members of this commission to lead this important work for the benefit of all New Brunswickers,” said Arseneault. “I thank them for taking on this task that will give us more information about this industry and its impact on people’s health, water and the environment through evidenced-based research.” [Without any health, environment or water expertise on the commission or harmed citizens?]
The commission will report back to the provincial government with its key findings within one year. In December 2014, the provincial government introduced amendments to the Oil and Gas Act that placed a moratorium on all types of hydraulic fracturing in New Brunswick. [Emphasis added]
Following are the biographies of the three commissioners:
Guy A. Richard
Richard graduated with a law degree from the University of New Brunswick before settling down in his home town of Bouctouche. After a distinguished legal career in Bouctouche from 1958 to 1971, he was appointed to the bench, serving the Northwest counties of the province. In 1976, he was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench and in 1979 was promoted to serve as a justice of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal. In 1982, Richard was named Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench until his retirement in 1994. He later served as an adjudicator and mediator before being appointed Chair of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission of New Brunswick in 2004. He officially retired from judicial duties in the summer of 2007. In 1987, the University of Moncton offered him an honorary doctorate degree for his lifelong achievements and in 2001, he led a committee on the future of the Université de Moncton, helping the university set its future course as a comprehensive, francophone institution of higher learning and research. In 2014, he was named to the Order of New Brunswick.
McLaughlin is a former president of the University of New Brunswick and holds the honorary position of president emeritus at UNB. He is currently scholar in residence at the Dr. J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management and Entrepreneurship at UNB. McLaughlin has an academic background in engineering and institutional economics. He has been an international leader in global geomatics and has worked in more than 40 countries with the World Bank, the United Nations and other organizations. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications, including three books.
Atlantic Business Magazine has recognized McLaughlin as one of the top chief executive officers in Atlantic Canada. He has received the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration and the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medals (Golden and Diamond). He is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of New Brunswick.
Robertson is a life-long educator, administrator and community volunteer in New Brunswick. During her more than 30 year professional career, she served as a teacher, guidance counsellor and vice-principal in the public school system, before moving to the post-secondary education system, including board chair of the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and principal at the NBCC campus in Saint John. As an advocate for public education and an active community leader, Robertson has received numerous awards, including recognition from the Institute of Public Administration Canada, the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration and the Commemorative Medal for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. Most recently, Robertson was named Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the 37 Signal Regiment (CAF Reserve). She is a member of the Order of New Brunswick.
NDP plugs away at fracking review panel by Ashley Fitzpatrick, March 24, 2015, The Telegram
NDP MHA George Murphy said Tuesday it is not too late for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to add a specialist in public health to its hydraulic fracturing — fracking — review panel.
Speaking with The Telegram, Murphy highlighted the recently completed review of the province’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA).
Proposed legislation to come out of the ATIPPA review, he noted, includes a public interest override that speaks directly to the importance of public health. He said the proposed changes, already accepted in principle by the government, include — in Section 9(3) — a call for proactive disclosure of information when there is a risk of significant harm to the environment, or to the health and safety of an individual or group.
“So that would probably go for chemicals that are being used on roadside brush clearing, it could be used for fracking chemicals. … That’s my translation of that particular section,” he said.
Beyond whether or not fracking fluids are covered, Murphy said it is all also relevant in discussing the appointees to the fracking review panel.
“If government is going to recognize public health as a concern in the legislation, then it should also recognize public health as a concern for not being on the panel,” he said.
In the House of Assembly, where the NDP MHA has previously taken issue with panel appointments, he gained little traction with his latest points, as he closed out question period.
Natural Resources minister Derrick Dalley responded to Murphy, saying the named fracking review panel is a collection of highly qualified experts. [For Example: Conflict of Interest Frac Patent holder Dr. Maurice Dusseault?] Any other individuals, including doctors or public-health experts who might like to add information for consideration, will have the opportunity to do so as the panel does its work, he said. [With public health experts deliberately left off the panel by the government? The esteemed “expert” industry controlled panel members would just ignore public health concerns submitted. That seems to be the Global Frac Panel Expert Way, set up by industry under the guise of government.]
The province’s fracking review is focused on the potential effects of the use of hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas exploration and development on the west coast of Newfoundland.
As for public health being a concern, Dalley said he believes the Progressive Conservative government has demonstrated it “will do what is right” whenever public safety is at issue.
“With respect to fracking itself, I look forward to the panel doing their work and I really wish the member opposite would do the same, Mr. Speaker,” he said.
The panel held a first meeting by late January and, as previously reported, a website for use in the review was in development at that time. The review panel is being guided by terms of reference set by the province. It has until Oct. 10 to file its final report.
The panel members are: Ray Gosine, associate vice-president (research) at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN); Graham Gagnon, a professor at Dalhousie University and expert in water management; Maurice Dusseault, a professor in the department of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Waterloo; Wade Locke, a professor of economics at MUN; and Kevin Keough, a former head of biochemistry at MUN and head of Kevin Keough Consulting. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
…fracking poses too great of an environmental risk to be seriously considered: “it is completely incomprehensible that government policy in support of fracking predominates from Brussels to London and all the way to Berlin, at the burden of environmental protection and against the will of the population affected.”
Hubertus Zdebel, a member of the Bundestag says “the only ones who will profit short-term from growth in this kind of natural gas are big energy companies… instead of continuing to intensify gas extraction, we need sustainable solutions for our energy needs.”
Jack Shawn Eyles, 28, dies fracking in NE BC for Calfrac (Nitrogen Pumping Division) on Progress Energy Canada Ltd. Site: “Not an explosion as we we usually think, but an explosive or sudden release of extremely high pressure”
British Columbia’s Ministry Health withholding data, report of scientific research on how oil and gas operations are affecting human health in northeast communities; Refusing to release even under FOIP: “could be harmful to the financial interest of a public body”
Cumulative frac harms: Who’s looking? Canada Water Network? Synergy group extraordinaire with Alberta Government Bev Yee on the Board who helped cover-up Encana fracing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers?
New BC OGC Report: From August 2013 to October 2014 Fracking directly caused 193 earthquakes (11 felt on surface), 38 more caused by waste injection, in Montney basin area surrounding Dawson Creek and Ft St John
Fracking might be as damaging as thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser warns in new report: “In all these and many other cases, delayed recognition of adverse effects incurred not only serious environmental or health impacts, but massive expense”
Did the people of Newfoundland and Labrador set themselves up to be frac’d by asking for an “independent” review of fracing? Will they get what citizens of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada got: recommendations to be used as lab rats?
Why are Nova Scotians not demanding that frac patent holder Dr. Maurice Dusseault be removed from the frac panel, his paper where he pushes the Alberta Regulator as model be struck, and a formal apology issued to the public?
MUST READ: Dr. Maurice Dusseault, Public Advisor on Council Canadian Academies Frac Panel, Nova Scotia Frac Panel, New Brunswick Energy Institute (that promotes fracing) Filed Frac Patent in 2011; Frac Patent Issued in 2013
Harper government enabling the frac harm cover up? Environment Canada criticized for leaving fracking chemicals off pollutant list saying not enough frac chemicals used – 362,000 litres of diesel invert lost underground near Alberta family home