Lake Ainslie: Setting the Record Straight
NOTE: The following is an op-ed piece from Charlie Parker, Minister of Energy and Sterling Belliveau, Minister of Environment.
Nova Scotia is blessed with natural beauty and resources that employ thousands of people. But that economic activity shouldn't come at the expense of the health of families or our environment.
Recent protests in Cape Breton reflect the concerns of that community about Petroworth's activities in Lake Ainslie.
This government wholeheartedly respects the protestors' rights to be heard. That said, the province also has a responsibility to correct misinformation and ensure Nova Scotians have the facts about activity in Lake Ainslie.
Petroworth has approval to drill one test well for petroleum near Lake Ainslie. Before this approval was granted, the province did a thorough review of its proposal and found that test drilling would not threaten residents' health, drinking water, or the environment.
These findings have been upheld by the provincial courts.
Petroworth does not - nor has it ever - had an approval to carry out hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
There are no approvals for hydraulic fracturing anywhere in Nova Scotia.
The province recognizes that oil and gas activity must be carried out carefully, in a way that protects Nova Scotians and their environment. That is exactly why this government will not issue any approvals for hydraulic fracturing until a thorough review of the practice is completed.
That review will consider the best and most recent information available, and look at technical reviews now underway in other jurisdictions with more experience with hydraulic fracturing.
This government shares Nova Scotians' belief that economic activity shouldn't come at the expense of our environment or the health of families, and it won't.