‘People’s Frackdown’ event calls for nationwide ban on fracking

Staff ~ The Western Star
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With about 45 people in attendance at the first-ever “People’s Frackdown” in Stephenville on Thursday, facilitator Joe Wiseman vowed this will be the first event of many.

A “frackdown” is an event to challenge hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — a technique that uses millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals to break open shale rock deep underground in order to extract gas.

Kenny (Mutchie) Bennett, a Qalipu First Nation member, attended the event, held in support of people who are trying to stop fracking in New Brunswick.

“Spontaneous events like this will really keep things going when it comes to getting the word out about fracking and its effects on the environment,” said Bennett.

“It’s wonderful someone other than the fracking awareness group arranged this.”

With the government taking a break and it being off-season for the oil companies, said Bennett, it’s good to see that people who really care about the land aren’t going to sleep on this issue over the winter.

He thinks it’s sad that some families are split over this issue and it’s disheartening to see it come down to people disrespecting each other.

“It’s wonderful the United Church is taking a stand on this issue and it would be nice if other church leaders would get involved and maybe organize their own events,” he said.

Rev. Kathryn Vance of the First United Church in Stephenville was a co-facilitator of the event.

In addition to having a number of people who are associated with the Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group address those on hand, there were a number of protest songs sung and petitions signed, and the event ended with a sacred circle, led by Bennett.

Wiseman said he got involved because, to him, the science is clear. While he’s not a scientist, Wiseman trusts David Suzuki when the noted Canadian environmentalist speaks about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing.

“It’s not ‘maybe.’ The science has been done and there is no need for governments to be studying if hydraulic fracturing will destroy our environment — it does,” Wiseman said, adding politicians will listen to voters and if voters say, “stop the fracking,” politicians will stop it.

He said multiple jurisdictions have banned fracking and one of them is the poor nation of Bulgaria, which recently moved ahead with a ban on the practice.

Wiseman said France, a western industrialized nation that needs oil as much as any nation, has banned fracking as well.

“What is Canada waiting for?” he asked. “It’s time for a nationwide ban on fracking in this country, too.”

The Western Star

Organizations: Qalipu First Nation, First United Church

Geographic location: New Brunswick, Stephenville, Bulgaria Canada Western Star

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Recent comments

  • david
    December 17, 2013 - 15:56

    "Top U.S. EPA climate change adviser defrauded employers out of nearly $1M, claimed was working covertly for CIA" So keep singing and save the world, you poor fools. But whatever you do, don't open your eyes.

  • Hudson
    December 13, 2013 - 22:08

    Great story! Except the part about "politicians will listen to voters" .. Alward is well aware. The protectors had been outside his office door telling him for three years, he refuses to listen. The people of NB will have their say, they will have their vote; and you can be sure it will MAKE Alward open his eyes and ears. Can't wait to have a new Premier of NB, just can't wait.

  • Hudson
    December 13, 2013 - 22:08

    Great story! Except the part about "politicians will listen to voters" .. Alward is well aware. The protectors had been outside his office door telling him for three years, he refuses to listen. The people of NB will have their say, they will have their vote; and you can be sure it will MAKE Alward open his eyes and ears. Can't wait to have a new Premier of NB, just can't wait.

  • Jed Sampson
    December 13, 2013 - 21:43

    J, I think people who hide and make degrading comments like you made here are the real idiots. I am surprised that the Telegram and other newspapers allow this sort of trash.

  • Joe Wiseman
    December 13, 2013 - 15:33

    Charles - why would anyone want fracking in their community and what is so special to you about 2015? J - PLEASE JOIN US AT OUR NEXT EVENT AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE MIC. Surely you have the courage to stand up in public and be heard. Oh, you may have your ideas challenged a bit as well - with respect, Joe Wiseman

  • Cindy
    December 13, 2013 - 12:20

    J, you should show respect for other peoples opinions. I noticed you would not even use your first name on your comment, that tells us alot about your character.

  • J
    December 13, 2013 - 08:21

    LOL. I loved listening to misinformed and misguided people. France banned fracking because 80% of frances energy comes from Nuclear Energy. Can I assume then that these anti-fracking useful idiots are in Support of Nuclear Energy?? Or are they all just a bunch of anti-development blowhards.

  • Charles
    December 13, 2013 - 04:13

    Fracking will be coming to your community after 2015 election.