MODG calls for end to fracking ban

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – The Municipality of the District of Guysborough believes fracking should be allowed in Nova Scotia and it’s writing to the premier and others to make its position clear.

Council supported a motion to send a letter to the premier, all MLAs, the Strait Area Mayors and Wardens, and regional economic development and business organizations during its monthly meeting on Monday, Jan. 22.

“Our opinion is fracking should be permitted,” Warden Vernon Pitts said in an interview with The Journal following the meeting. “It’s hard to talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk.”

The warden spoke of the positive benefits Guysborough County has enjoyed from oil and gas development. “They (these companies) employ members of our community. They contribute economic benefits. They are involved in our communities, such as with Community Liaison Committees.”

He pointed out that fracking — using a high-pressure water mixture to release gas inside rock — has taken place in the U.S. for the past 150 years and in Canada for more than 100 years. Pitts said he would like to see the province try it somewhere first, before “closing the door on it.”

The government’s recently released Onshore Petroleum Atlas shows the economic potential of onshore natural gas resources in Nova Scotia to be in the tens of billions of dollars.

“It’s a natural resource,” said Pitts.

In other council business, a motion was passed to send two senior staff, CAO Barry Carroll and Director of Development Gordon MacDonald to United Paradyne Corporation’s site in Vandenberg, California, in response to an invitation from the company — an aerospace engineering enterprise partnership with Maritime Launch Systems (MLS). The two MODG staff will see the company’s rocket assembly operations, be present for a rocket launch and gain more insights into the potential community benefits of a planned rocket launch facility in MODG.

Council also agreed to send a letter to Nova Scotia Power congratulating the utility for its impressive work in addressing local power outages in recent months.