Anti-fracking group begins grassroots campaign in P.E.I.

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Members of “Don’t Frack P.E.I.”, from left, Mary Ann Ross, Diana Lariviere and Marie Burge are hoping to spread information about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas among Islanders over the next several months. The group held its first meeting in Charlottetown Saturday.

Leo Broderick knows it will take a groundswell of public support to get legislation passed banning hydraulic fracking in P.E.I.

That’s why he and a group of Islanders have organized themselves into teams to spread information about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and the possible dangers the practice poses to P.E.I.’s groundwater.

Don’t Frack P.E.I. held its first session in Charlottetown on Saturday at the Voluntary Resource Centre.

Broderick, who directed the session with Marie Burge, said the group has begun the process of bringing information about fracking to the public.

“That way, if there is a great demand to get a ban on fracking in P.E.I., it will happen,” said Broderick.

Much of Saturday’s session provided participants with material to share with community groups and neighbours. There were also tips on getting individuals interested in the topic and how to lead a discussion about fracking.

The group said it plans to host community information events and training sessions across the province.

Brackley resident Mary Ann Ross said initial discussions will likely start among small groups, such as at kitchen table meetings and Farmer’s Markets.

From there, the group hopes that information will spread.

“It’s at the grassroots level,” said Ross. “Hopefully, fracking will be a term most people in P.E.I. will be very familiar with after these meetings.”

Broderick said while a legislative committee has recommended P.E.I. adopt a moratorium on fracking, it has yet to happen.

He said the group’s ultimate goal is to get a permanent ban on fracking put in place and pointed towards New Brunswick, where major protests have occurred because of the shale gas development.

“Promoters of fracking are saying it’s an economic boom for communities, that’s what they’re promoting it in New Brunswick and unless we’re very careful we’ll have government here doing the same thing,” he said.

Nearby provinces Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador all have enacted moratoriums on shale gas development .

Conventional fracking, which drills only vertically, has already occurred in P.E.I. in 2006 at a site in Cavendish.

Broderick said while that operation was different from hydraulic fracking, which drills vertically before spreading horizontally, it still caused what the group considered “a major spill.”

““We know what can happen… It (2006) was just exploratory but it ended up in contamination,” he said. “If we had that on a huge scale in Prince Edward Island, our groundwater would be destroyed.”

Organizations: Voluntary Resource Centre

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, New Brunswick Quebec Nova Scotia Newfoundland and Labrador Cavendish

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Recent comments

  • Somebody
    May 05, 2014 - 06:31

    So many people here seem very quick to judge those who are speaking out. Here's the thing. They're not doing it for your approval or so you will like them. They are speaking out against fracking. What you think of Leo or anyone else matters diddly. Unlike most of you, at least they are speaking out. Fracking is just anther way of destroying the environment for the dollar. Someday you will turn around and say, "Whaa, where did it go"?

    • exactly
      May 05, 2014 - 10:09

      So true - unlike the fracking enthusiasts, those who oppose it are not doing it to gain any benefit for themselves. Think about that!!!!

  • reality
    May 05, 2014 - 05:48

    fracking makes money -even for people who sell t-shirts

    • Lloyd Kerry
      May 05, 2014 - 11:24

      I'm an equal-opportunity entrepreneur. I can make "Go Frack Go" t-shirts as well.

    • Lloyd Kerry
      May 05, 2014 - 23:55

      I'm an equal-opportunity entrepreneur. I can make "Go Frack Go" t-shirts as well.

  • Lloyd Kerry
    May 04, 2014 - 21:42

    Another awesome t-shirt by Men In Black T-Shirts, Charlottetown (creator of the PEI EI PI t-shirt)

  • AMAZED
    May 04, 2014 - 19:03

    I am sooooo tired of Broderick but on this issue I support him 100% . This is an Island...where will we get our water once we let a bunch of knobs (political AND industrial) contaminate it !!! This should not even be up for debate ,the answer is no , or do we need our First Nations people to balls up for us .

  • Stewart Smith
    May 04, 2014 - 16:47

    The fracking industry is interested in one thing only - making money for themselves. If they can poison us and rip off us taxpayers and leave an environmental catastrophe, and get away with it, they will.

  • cold in PEI
    May 04, 2014 - 11:03

    gee, Leo Broderick opposed to fracturing. What a surprise. Maybe he'd prefer nuclear? Coal? A bunch of hamsters on a wheel? Windmills in his backyard?

    • homer simpson
      May 04, 2014 - 19:57

      I'd be in favour of a nuclear reactor. I propose Stratford as the site.

  • Andrew Lush
    May 04, 2014 - 08:34

    There's lots of information about fracking at www.dontfrackpei.com

  • dumb
    May 04, 2014 - 03:21

    Leo and Marie should know by now that the best way to advance a cause is for neither of them to support it. The general population looks at them vicariously. They are known for being in support of any dumb cause

  • Pat McGowan
    May 03, 2014 - 21:11

    I am totally against fracking.I support this group completely.

  • No Fracking Way!!
    May 03, 2014 - 19:06

    Fracking poisons our water and earth, period! Say no to fracking!

  • Garth Staples
    May 03, 2014 - 18:31

    And how many of the low income, the poor will their foolishness hurt? What a web we weave when we practice to deceive!

    • AMAZED
      May 04, 2014 - 18:51

      I realize you are a Tory shill and senate wannabee but how can you support contaminating the water supply on an Island!!! For shame or do you Tories not have that emotion !

  • too late
    May 03, 2014 - 18:18

    PEI has already had fracking and likely will in the future because of this precedent. Corridor Resources drilled its ''Green Gables'' well in Mayfield back in 2007-2008 and they used fracking at that time.

  • justfrac off
    May 03, 2014 - 17:04

    Got to give Leo big heads up, has no idea what he is talking about, the last wells drilled on the island were over 10,000 feet deep and horizontal fracing would be hitting a pay zone of perhaps 3 meters from perferation zone at the most. The east Texas fiasco propaganda is perfectly fit for people like Leo, who really don't understand the whole concept, but its a great rally cry and heaven forbid if some company actually hit the pay zone that some geologist believes lay under the island at great depths. I mean what would the island do if the government could pay down debt and perhaps be a viable economy instead of feeding on the breast of the federal government and the rest of Canada. Of course that's not the island way and as social servicers keep taking cuts and cost of living goes up, perhaps those fancy tee shirts will become one more layer of clothing to fight off the cold.

    • Lloyd Kerry
      May 04, 2014 - 23:04

      I sold two of those "fancy t-shirts" to a guy at the PEI Home Show, who is doing fracking in Saudi Arabia and says "PEI should not have anything to do with fracking in any way, shape, or form."

    • really
      May 05, 2014 - 10:01

      Judging by your comments you have no idea about the friable nature of our bedrock here, no one knows how far and in which direction the fissures will travel.