Greens support bill to ban fracking in Ontario

(Queen’s Park): GPO leader Mike Schreiner is calling for all party support for a private member’s bill to ban high volume hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas from shale in Ontario. 
“Fracking poses a threat to our water and has no place in Ontario,” says Schreiner. “I’m deeply disappointed that the Liberal government immediately came out against this bill to protect our water.”
 
Bill 82 introduced by MPP Peter Tabuns, Toronto-Danforth, will be before the Legislature for a vote on Thursday, May 7, 2015. Minister Bill Mauro announced the government’s opposition to the bill after it was introduced in March. The Green Party is pushing the Liberals to reconsider their opposition.
 
“I hope the Liberals are not playing politics with our water,” says Schreiner. “Greens will set partisanship aside to support a bill that benefits the people of Ontario.”
 
Jurisdictions like New York, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have passed similar bills to ban hydraulic fracturing due to health and environmental concerns. Although no hydraulic shale gas fracturing currently exists in Ontario, the Liberal government has provided mapping data to assist in exploration for the fracking industry.
 
“If the Liberals are serious about protecting our water and reducing climate disrupting pollution, they would support a ban on fracking,” adds Schreiner. “Banning fracking before it is a provincial problem is an obvious way to put our health and our drinking water first.”
 
The GPO supports using the precautionary principle to avoid health, environmental and financial threats before those costs are imposed on the people of Ontario. Banning fracking now could stave off a costly NAFTA lawsuit like the one launched against the Canadian government for Quebec’s fracking moratorium, which was imposed after a company had purchased fracking leases and paid rentals.
 
“The government should send a clear message to the fracking industry: Ontario is a no go zone for fracking,” says Schreiner. 
 
The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and good public policy to Queen’s Park.
 
-30-