Photo from Panoramio.com by tunamackeral

Sackville calls for hydrofracking ban

Sackville calls for hydrofracking ban

Published Thursday July 14th, 2011

 Council asks for moratorium on controversial practice until natural gas
action plan is completed
by meg edwards
Times & Transcript Staff

Sackville council voted unanimously to request that the province of New
Brunswick issue a moratorium on exploration and hydrofracturing for shale gas
and oil.

The council wished that such a moratorium would be in place until the
government’s natural gas action plan is complete and includes a strong
regulatory framework monitoring process and full protection of aquifers and
other water sources.

“We are still not convinced of the effectiveness of the management and we
need more input from New Brunswick,” said Councillor Bruce Phinney.

“You cannot clean up a polluted aquifer,” added Councilor Maragret
Tusz-King.

“Some things are irreparable no matter how much money a company puts
aside.”

Councillor Virgil Hammock agreed saying that New Brunswickers were taking
risks in the situation, with very little promised benefits.

In other news from council:

The Rural and Small Town Programme on Mount Allison’s University campus has
been abruptly cancelled, with little warning to the director Gwendolyn Zwicker,
her five staff and one summer student.

In a statement from the university the program was acknowledged as having
added a valuable contribution to “our understanding of the conditions of social
life in rural settlements and small towns in Atlantic Canada.”

The university has decided that the program is not viable over the long term
and does not fit within its core mission as a liberal arts university.

While RSTP officially closed on June 20, the director will continue to
monitor projects until September in an off-campus location.

RSTP does primary and secondary research.

Included amongst that work is focus groups, key informant interviews, and
statistical analysis and surveys.

Among some of RSTP’s recent projects included SPY CAMPS – Sustainable
Planning for Youth, and Climate Change Adaptation, Planning and Policy in
Atlantic Canada.

Councillor Fullerton, whose motion to write a letter to the university to
oppose the closing of the RSTP was unanimously supported, said that the closure
of the program was “contrary to sustainability.”

Fullerton said that the community had benefitted from the program and that it
had created an important institutional link between the town and Mount Allison
University.

Cheryl Veinotte, a graduate of Mount Allison and a recent employee of RSTP,
attended the council meeting and was grateful for Fullerton’s actions.

Veinotte told those assembled at the council meeting that the closure was
abrupt and disheartening.

“We were notified that we were moving our offices on a Thursday and on Monday
we were told we had no jobs.”

The staff has been given a non-working notice severance pay of one-month
pay.

Deputy Mayor Bob Berry announced that Sackville’s CAO Eric Mourant was out on
leave on an internal matter.

Berry said that Treasurer Michael Beal would act as the CAO in the meantime
and that the matter would be resolved in the next few weeks.

 

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