Marshall surprised by fracking operations in Saskatchewan

Diane Crocker
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Tom Marshall

Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall says information he gathered while visiting fracking operations in Saskatchewan last week will help inform the province as it makes decisions on whether or not to allow the procedure here.

"I want to make sure any decisions here are based on science and not emotion," said Marshall, who brought along some pictures of his trip to a health-care funding announcement at Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook on Monday.

RELATED: "Moderate fracking awareness group created"

"I wanted to see fracking of oil in rock," said Marshall of the reason for making the trip to Weyburn, Sask., the capital of fracking in Canada.

"I've been on the Internet checking out the things people are worried about and I went Saskatchewan with my list."

Marshall said that list included questions on air quality, the affect fracking has on animals, the integrity of well sites, protection against well contamination and water volumes.

What he found somewhat surprised him.

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"They are not having any problems with it at all," said Marshall. "I was surprised because I was looking at it negatively because all the information that I've been getting it's been very negative."

But Marshall said what he saw and heard was positive.

"They haven't had any water contamination, they haven't had any problems with water volume, they haven't had livestock dying, they haven't had earthquakes."

Marshall said it was interesting to see the attitude of the local population to this issue, and noted the people of Saskatchewan were surprised at the opposition to the process they've heard from the east.

Marshall said people from the province work on the fracking process, farmers rent land to the oil companies to carry out the work and regulators talk of economic benefits to the province.

When asked if Marshall now thought that fracking should occur in Gros Morne, he replied, "Certainly not in Gros Morne. I wouldn't want to see anything that would impact in a negative way that facility. We don't want to see any environmental contamination, any environmental damage."

"(But) we would also like to see economic development, but only if it's within a framework where there's robust environmental and health and safety regulations."

To the people in the Gros Morne and Port au Port areas where the possibility of fracking has met with considerable opposition Marshall said he would tell them to get informed.

"Get as much information as you can. Don't base your decisions on one person or one set of facts that you see. Don't base it on TV or movies. Get the facts," he said. "That's what I'm trying to do."

Besides the trip to Saskatchewan, Marshall also met with his counterparts in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and said his "frack finding" mission is not finished yet.

Marshall will be going to Yellowknife in a couple of weeks for the federal, provincial, territorial ministers meeting and will have separate meetings with ministers from Manitoba and British Columbia.

"And I'm going to go through all these questions with them and see what they have to say." Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker



Organizations: Western Memorial Regional Hospital

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Gros Morne, Corner Brook Weyburn Canada Port au Port Nova Scotia New Brunswick Yellowknife Manitoba British Columbia

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Recent comments

  • sherman
    October 28, 2013 - 20:11

    Take your head out of the sand; look at Alberta and the US and all there contaminations; how many dozens and even maybe hundred of examples do you need. Its scary to see a " Natural Resource Minister" knows so little about fracking and is only now, after all these years, trying to educate himself; and via one visit; lol. Obviously he is not qualified to be a minister. Lobbing must be paying well these days in Ottawa! The way this government is dictating, I wouldn't be surprise if we have a uprising of the people. signed; A veterans son.

  • Cindy
    August 21, 2013 - 19:52

    Fracking will benefit no one in the long run. The revenue from the fracking will not compensate for the negative effects on our health, environment, tourism industry and fishery.

  • Trish
    August 15, 2013 - 07:43

    I have to laugh at how everyone all of a sudden become scientist that know all the facts. So they should never drill for oil, gas any other resources In the earth. Stop the fracturing right. Where would we all be without oil and gas. With it being developed on the island, a lot more families may be able to feed their families. I think it's crazy that we are always pessimistic on everything. Knowone ever want's to hear anyones opinion but their own, and people are closed minded. I lived in Alberta and worked in the hospital there for years. There are fracturing companies on every corner. Lots of jobs and opportunities available. The way I see it Newfoundlanders will fight change in any form. It's sad actually, we are 100 years behind the rest of the provinces. We don't have to be. As for Gasland I read up on it that film was actually just a movie. I took the following quote from a site talking about the quote "Movie", ''Gasland'' is the ''Tingler'' - all about fear, exploding faucets, cancer and ''deadly'' fossil fuels. The trouble is it's full of misinformation and false claims. Don't be scared; it's just a movie. People need to be more informed. Lets not start putting our focus on the Movies, Alien or Apollo 18.

    • Braden
      August 29, 2013 - 01:35

      Do a little research on the effects that fracking has had on Texas. Many towns now have little to no water. Residents are experiencing health problems from the contaminated water that remains.

  • Dianne
    August 13, 2013 - 17:48

    LOL...Really, Not only do the PCS want to see fracking take place, So do the provincial Liberal party, Why do you think they stop Charles Murphy of corner brook from running, for the liberal leadership? Because he didn't want to see our province turn into a waste land. Some guy from Alberta write a letter about the people of N&L, Every one is gone crazy about, But the dirty deed done to this man, and only a fews of us are out spoken about it, We get whats we DESERVE...HA HA

  • Resources will be spent and environment destroyed before this government exits.
    August 13, 2013 - 14:26

    This particular government will approve anything and everything that industry wants it to. They will all have their bank accounts full to capacity, but none of the ordinary citizens will have gained anything from their natural resources by the time they exit. The province's natural resources base will be all spent by them for themselves and the environment destroyed.

  • david
    August 13, 2013 - 13:37

    Don't matter. We don't want none of dat here...we got our own oil offshore, and, like everyting else we does, we'll just wait til 3 or 4 years after iss all gone before anyone even tinks about it.....das how we rolls! Plus, we got guv'munt money to keep us all warm and fed for winter...real jobs'd screw dat up right bad! No point lettin' anyone come here from upalong and do nuttin. always ends bad here anyway, so less juss say no to 'em all. Oh...but welcome tourists!

  • California Pete from NFLD
    August 13, 2013 - 12:46

    Right on HUB. But don't forget ignorance is bliss. DAHHHH. Have a nice shaky day like in California. Just in case you don't know Tom, it's caled " Earthquake "

  • Betty
    August 13, 2013 - 12:39

    You joker Randy...LOL..If the liberal was honest Mr Charles Murphy would have been in the provincial liberal leadership race, Least this man would have shown the people they still had future here, Just look at what the Liberal have to offer, NOTHING. Just more burgen on taxpayers back.

  • Scott
    August 13, 2013 - 12:23

    Are you crazy ? Randy taking some one from the liberal to tell the truth, Now i know your trying to pull everyone leg. Liberal don't know the meaning of truth - honest - transparency,

    • Randy
      August 13, 2013 - 13:57

      i just know the liberals didn't vote for bill29 but every last tory did. when it comes to honesty and transparency,this present conservative gov. is seriously lacking

  • James
    August 13, 2013 - 12:11

    All well informed people that have half brain know fracking is a selfish way to obtain energy. What are we teaching our children, you can hide your junk under your bed as long as you never look there? Isn't that what fracking is.

  • randy
    August 13, 2013 - 11:11

    he should have taken Eddy Joyce with him , At least we would have gotten the truth

  • Craig
    August 13, 2013 - 11:06

    Hub, Edfromred, stop with the propaganda, I live in the heart of the Bakken and none of this stuff happens! GasLand was nothing but a far left enviro freak far reaching propaganda hollywood funded film. No science was behind the making of it and was all based on rumour and propaganda as spoon fed by the likes of the hollywood elite. I suggest you do some real research into the matter rather than drawing your opinion on a flick and a couple of write ups. AS for the water use, more and more they are re-using the water, treating it and also using COs, nitrogen and liquid propane to frack, times have is maybe time to update your war chest as it is severely lacking in reality.

    • WIld Rose
      August 13, 2013 - 12:29

      Youre right on craig it is leftr-wint enviro propaganda by the David Suzukie crowd and the HOllywood elite. Its all propaganda by the global warming crowd who don't know nothing except complaintg about the people who work and make money and pay there well fair bills.

    • Wild Rose
      August 13, 2013 - 12:34

      Youre right Craig because it is just left wing wood David Suzuky propaganda. There the same bunch that complain about the oil sands wich keep thisd country great and want us to have to go to Saudy Arabia. But we on the oil patch are paying for their welfair becaus their to lazy to work. Fracking is safe and they don't want to admit it because it is.

    • Eli
      August 13, 2013 - 12:42

      Exactly how many points of view did Marshall get outside the oil patch taking into consideration he gets "surprised" just looking at his hydro bill. CBS Sunday Morning had a good two-sided program recently concerning fracking in Philidelphia. The jobs were fleeting, the roads torn up by heavy equipment and the environment was scarred forever.

  • Hub
    August 13, 2013 - 10:20

    Mr. Marshall, please watch GasLand.

  • Kev
    August 13, 2013 - 09:48

    Did he study hospital construction while he was out there?

  • EDfromRED
    August 13, 2013 - 09:46

    Texas towns run out of water due to fracking … Groundwater near fracking sites shows elevated arsenic levels

    • Wild Rose
      August 13, 2013 - 12:18

      that is a LIE! The leftwing enivro-mental cases will say anything to make us dependant on forein terrorist oil. they just don't want any one else to work because their so lazy.