VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is one of 17 organizations that is calling on the provincial government to broaden its promised review of hydraulic fracturing into a full public inquiry.
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Wilderness Committee, West Coast Environmental Law, the SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, the Sierra Club BC, Saanich Inlet Network, and the Public Health Association of BC are among the 16 other organizations that joined together with the CCPA to call on the NDP government to broaden a promise the party made during the lead-up to the provincial election last Spring.
The coalition says that new revelations about the fracking process including escalating water usage by fracking companies, poor or misleading consultations with First Nations, industry construction of unlicensed fracking reservoir dams, and earthquakes near fracking operations have resulted in the need for a larger review.
“We believe that the NDP’s campaign promise to appoint a scientific panel to review fracking won’t be enough to fully address the true risks of deploying this brute-force technology throughout northeast BC. Current realities dictate that we need a wide-ranging public inquiry,” said CCPA resource policy analyst Ben Parfitt, who published the report into unlicensed dams at fracking operations earlier this year.
The groups said in a release that a broad formal Public Inquiry or Commission of Inquiry is necessary to investigate all the risks and harms associated with fracking.
“We are deeply troubled that this dam-building free-for-all occurred on First Nation lands, that First Nations were not fully consulted about the true size and extent of these dams and that our Indigenous Title, Rights and Treaty rights are still completely ignored or denied. There are still no substantive or meaningful opportunities to fully participate in decisions around how water resources are managed in our respective territories,” said Union of BC Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip. “We need a credible, strong, Independent Inquiry to get to the bottom of this.”