Municipal move to ban fracking would not supersede Nova Scotia law:minister

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HALIFAX - Service Nova Scotia Minister John MacDonell says any municipal bylaw banning hydraulic fracturing would not supersede provincial authority.

Inverness county council is considering a bylaw that would ban the oil and gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing and it's expected to receive final reading in March.

MacDonell says the council can move ahead if it wants, but there's a question whether the bylaw would mean anything.

He says the Municipal Government Act gives the municipality no authority to make law around mineral rights, which falls under the province's jurisdiction.

MacDonell calls the municipality's move a "moot point" given that the province has a moratorium in place on hydraulic fracturing and is currently conducting a technical and policy review around the practice.

Toronto-based Petroworth Resources has plans to drill a 1,200-metre vertical exploratory well on the western side of Lake Ainslie in the county, though the company has repeatedly said that its permit does not include fracking.

Organizations: Inverness county council, Petroworth Resources

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Lake Ainslie

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