Manitoulin represented on fracking conference panel

A Manitoulin Expositor article

SUDBURY—Manitoulin Island was to be well represented at a fracking conference held at the University of Sudbury on Wednesday of this week.

“Within our communities there is a sense that the environment is suffering greatly and one of the many reasons for this is fracking,” stated Dr. Michael Hankard, assistant professor at the Department of Indigenous Studies, University of Sudbury.

“The whole idea of holding this ‘It’s a Fracking Conference’ panel discussion is to create awareness of the issue of fracking and the concerns it brings,” said Dr. Hankard.

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Stewardship Council says ‘no’ to fracking on Manitoulin Island

An article in The Manitoulin Expositor

The Manitoulin Area Stewardship Council (MASC) has agreed it is not in favour of fracking taking place on Manitoulin Island.

“We’re definitely not supporting the business of fracking taking place on Manitoulin Island,” stated Neil Debassige, co-chair of MASC, after the group held a meeting on Monday. “Research shows there is the potential fallout with fracking with damage-tainting of the water quality and supply is just too high.”

Mr. Debassige said, “there was actually a pretty good article written recently by the David Suzuki Foundation talking about the trading of water for fuel; providing for natural gas and tainting and using up water to use for businesses involved in fracking.”

“With all the research that has been done to show the detrimental effects on water, how can anyone possibly look at the option of fracking?” asked Mr. Debassige. “Whether it’s just because of big business, or just a lack of information from the industry in reporting the problems with fracking, the general public doesn’t get the chance to see all this type of information. (Fracking) is all about big oil companies and the general public doesn’t see any of the benefits these companies get from fracking, but have to deal with the issues involving their effected water quality.”

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Stop hydraulic fracturing in Ontario now

Stephen R. Knowles in the Perth Courier

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” of deep shale deposits has yielded huge amounts of natural gas and crude oil over the last eight to nine years. The process, which uses enormous amounts of fresh water and proprietary chemicals, has been developed largely in the United States (US). In 2005 hydraulic fracturing was exempted by the US Congress from seven federal statutes, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, the so-called “Haliburton Loophole.” Without these exemptions the process may not have been financially viable. The oil and gas industry have kept many aspects of the process secret through claims of proprietary information and by silencing disputing landowners with payouts and non-disclosure agreements. State governments are struggling to catch up with adequate regulatory frameworks.

Shale that contains trapped natural gas and oil typically lies at 5,000 to 10,000 feet below ground. There are huge deposits in North America, most notably in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York State. The latter two states are over the Marcellus and Utica shales, that extend beneath Lake Erie into southwestern Ontario. There are shale deposits in the Sarnia area and near the greater Toronto area which extend northwest towards Georgian Bay.

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Mi’kmaq Warriors – Southern Ontario Speaking Tour

Members of the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society who have been arrested and incarcerated will be on a speaking tour in January and February to raise awareness about their struggle against fracking, their ongoing assertion and exercise of nationhood, and the repression they face from police and courts.

PUBLIC EVENTS – February 18th-26th

* Sarnia (Aamjiwnaang Territory): Tuesday, February 18, 5:00pm- 9:00pm at the Sarnia Public Library (124 Christina St)

* Toronto (Mississauga, Six Nations Territory): Thursday, February 20, 6:30pm – 9:00pm, at Council Fire Native Cultural Centre (439 Dundas East)

* Hamilton (Six Nations Territory): Friday, February 21, 6pm, at Volunteer Hamilton (267 King East)

* Six Nations: Saturday, February 22

* Tyendinaga: Sunday, February 23

* Peterborough, Nogojiwanong: Monday, February 24 at 7 pm. First People’s House of Learning (1600 West Bank Drive). Details:

* Kitchener-Waterloo: Wednesday, February 26.

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Fracking Nuclear Waste, Say What? #cdnpoli #onpoli

A report from Amy MacPherson for Free the Press Canada

Ontario residents have been kept in the dark, but Canada’s most populous province is about to become an unlikely and international battleground. After all, how many times does the Great White North threaten the drinking water of more than 40 million people, including their neighbours in America?

Legislators from south of the border have already taken issue with plans for a deep geologic repository. Less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron, Bruce Power intends to store 200,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste within the natural rock formation. Senators and congressmen shared their dissent with the Canadian government, but the fed responded by sending police to the homes of eco protesters, in what some would call an act of intimidation.

(photo credit: Ontario Power Generation)

It will take at least 300 years for the nuclear waste to decay, to a point that radioactive catastrophes are not a threat to human populations. This Kincardine, Ontario location was also chosen for its low seismic activity, reducing the likelihood of water and soil contamination by earthquake.

This much we’ve always known, due to the federal environment assessment that required public consultation. The Harper government has since levied time restrictions to speed the process along, but this is one project that was too big and too perilous to keep from the radar at all.

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Hamilton resolution in support of a fracking moratorium

Today, the City Council in Hamilton unanimously voted in favour of the following recommendation:

That the City of Hamilton supports a province-wide and national moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until provincial and federal reviews have been completed that include extensive public consultation and full consideration of the potential human and environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

The Council was responding to a letter from the Council of Canadians’ Hamilton chapter.

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Fractivist Toolkit: How you can take action to protect water and stop fracking

Communities continue to find creative ways to fight fracking projects which are threatening their drinking water, families and friends’ health and the air they breathe. One example is the Mi’kmaq Warriors Speaking tour where events in sixteen communities in Western Canada and Ontario have been organized or will take place over the coming weeks. Members of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society who were arrested for protecting their land from fracking will share their stories about their struggle against fracking on their territory.

This week the Council of Canadians launched its new Fractivist Toolkit: How you can take action to protect water and stop fracking. The toolkit provides ideas for communities fighting fracking.

The first section of the toolkit provides a summary of fracking in Canada’s provinces and territories and includes information about the current state of fracking, laws related to fracking – such as permit requirements for water takings and drilling – and what community actions are already underway. The second section contains ideas and suggestions about what you can do to fight fracking, including case studies and how to pass a resolution against fracking. This section also includes public education tools such as social media tips and sample letters to the editor.

Fracking is one of the biggest threats to our watersheds of our time. As Maude Barlow writes in the Foreward, “We’ve seen the terrible damage fracking inflicts, just as we’ve seen the power and influence of the companies that promote it. These companies won’t regulate themselves, and governments are doing little to stop them. They won’t put the needs of people and the planet before profit. That’s up to us. By organizing, writing, marching, petitioning and refusing to give up, we can protect our water and stop fracking.” Here, here. And with this toolkit, I look forward to working with many to stop fracking across our communities!

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A description of fracking drawn from public domain documents

Zareh Oshagan in The Manitoulin Expositor

Do not be blinded by the promise of riches and great economic potentials

What is fracking? Data in this article has been drawn from documents in the public domain from reputable organizations including the United Nations, World Health Organization and GreenPeace, to name a few.

Let us put aside for a moment the human, land and animal health hazards of fracking. Let us also not delve into polluted underground streams or the lifelong effects of exposure to fracked land and water. Instead, allow me to explain to you what fracking is.

Simply put, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to free up trapped oil and natural gas inside.

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The First Nation People in Sarnia Are Pushing Back Against Fracking

Colin Graf for Vice Canada

Protesters in Sarnia are standing up to the powerful fracking lobby. Photo by Colin Graf.

On December 27th, First Nations protestors in Sarnia, Ontario, took to the streets once again to let Canadians know they don’t want to be the lab rats of the energy industry’s pollution experiments. While members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation have put up with spills of potentially toxic chemicals in their air and water for decades, they’re now scared of new threats—namely controversial changes to existing pipelines, and fracking.

Walking to the beat of drums and native singers, about 50 marchers paraded through part of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation reserve carrying banners and signs, then followed a rural road that runs along the reserve’s boundary with an invisible, underground neighbour alongside—Enbridge’s Line 9. The company’s plan to reverse the flow of the pipeline to carry Alberta tar sands bitumen to a Montreal refinery is a fear the marchers carry along with them. “There’s a real risk this very old pipeline could rupture and spill this heavy bitumen into our area and next to our homes,” said Vanessa Gray, one of the women from Aamjwinaang who appears in the VICE Canada documentary on the Chemical Valley, and December’s “Toxic Tour” organizer.

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Canadian oil & gas company in Lake Erie, Spain and Tunisia

Brent Patterson on the Council of Canadians blog

A Canadian oil and gas company is involved in a controversial offshore gas storage facility in Spain, has oil and gas interests in the Mediterranean Sea, and reportedly holds shares in more than 900,000 gross acres of Lake Erie for natural gas extraction.

Gas map.

The company
An October 25, 2013 Dundee Energy Limited media release states, “Dundee Energy Limited is a Canadian-based oil and natural gas company with a mandate to create long-term value for its shareholders through the exploration, development, production and marketing of oil and natural gas, and through other high impact energy projects. Dundee Energy holds interests, both directly and indirectly, in the largest accumulation of producing oil and gas assets in Ontario, in the development of an offshore underground natural gas storage facility in Spain and, through a preferred share investment, in certain exploration and evaluation programs for oil and natural gas offshore Tunisia.”

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