Ont. rejects NDP call for natural gas fracking ban
Liberals say there's no need to outlaw something that's not happening.
TORONTO — The New Democrats want to ban high volume hydraulic fracking to produce natural gas from shale in Ontario, but the government says there’s no need to outlaw something that isn’t happening.
NDP environment critic Peter Tabuns introduced a private member’s bill to have Ontario follow the lead of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New York and ban fracking.
Tabuns says fracking poses substantial risks to ground water, which is combined with toxic chemicals under extreme pressure to fracture shale deposits to free up natural gas for extraction.
He says Ontario needs to impose a moratorium on fracking before companies come looking for licences to explore for natural gas.
However, Natural Resources Minister Bill Mauro says the Liberal government will not impose a moratorium on fracking.
Mauro says there are no applications to frack and no exploration going on for natural gas deposits in Ontario right now, and he’s not sure there’s enough potential gas in the province to attract companies.
“I would speculate that if there was a lot of it they would have probably been here already, but I don’t know if there is or is not,” he said. “I would expect they would have already been sniffing around if that were the case.”
Mauro also said he would not put a timeline on when his ministry’s review of the fracking issue could be completed.
© 2015 The Canadian Press