(A Brief Foreword from NAL publisher Doug Draper – For those of you in the rural regions of Niagara and other parts of Ontario, if you have not yet heard the term ‘fracking’ – short for hydraulic fracturing for extracting oil in layers of shale rock below ground – you may want to key the word ‘fracking’ into Google or whatever search engine you may have and do a little research.
Why? Because this deep-well method of extracting oil from deep layers of shale below ground may very well be coming to a tract of land near you – especially if you live in a rural area.
The current Liberal government of Ontario has hardly said no to the petro-chemical companies that would like to do this kind of oil drilling here and I’m just willing to bet that if Ontario Conservative opposition leader Tim Hudak becomes the next premier of Ontario – which he could if, according to most polls, a provincial election was called any time in the next few weeks or days – he will be more of a champion for letting “special interests” into rural communities to do fracking than he has been to do wind or solar energy farms. All the potential risks to groundwater quality and health to humans and other lifeforms not withstanding.
So please check this post, by Joanne McDonald, out and stay tune for more on this issue.)
The drilling equipment is primed, favourable policy has been written, pockets of shale gas have been mapped down to the cubic foot across Ontario, oil companies are staking their claims and the wheels of investment are turning.
The only things missing, says Ontario-based investigative journalist Amy MacPherson, is public knowledge of what’s ahead, research data or understanding of the potential impact on the massive network of ground water across the Laurentian Trough, and straight talk from a complicit Ontario government that to date continues to claim – there is nothing going on.
Pushed off the mainstream grid, intimidated and harassed, MacPherson is one lonely reporter and one voice that cannot be quelled.
This past Monday, April 28th, at Brock University, MacPherson shared her investigations and research into the impacts of government, energy and media relationships on the development of the fossil fuel industry in Canada in, “Fracked Up! The secret behind Ontario’s political and energy bedfellows.”
MacPherson brought Bruce Power and Dundee Energy Limited together in their taste for the same rock formation near the shores of Lake Huron – one looking to store nuclear waste, the other to extract the rich fuel deposits.
The intrepid reporter has had to dig deep to bypass the subterfuge and track the most telling information about energy projects through private company investor reports.
“Nuclear proponents believe the shale is strong enough to store radioactive waste, while oil competitors have chosen the area due to rich deposits and the porous nature of the same rock, making it a perfect specimen for fracking. It’s hard to see how both could be correct, but everyone drinking water along the Great Lakes is in the crosshairs of this corporate aggression,” says MacPherson in her work that can be found at http://freethepresscanada.org/ .
The event was organized by the South Niagara Chapter of the Council of Canadians and co-sponsored by the Social Justice and Equity Studies Program at Brock University.
Joanne McDonald is a Niagara resident and a veteran journalist in the greater Niagara region.