For 5 years we have been working tirelessly to protect Yukon’s air and water from fracking. We are a group of Yukoners – some born here, others who’ve moved here because we were attracted by the natural beauty of this place. We want to ensure that our grandchildren and their grandchildren can also enjoy this special place. We are all volunteers who have dedicated our time and money to knocking on doors, travelling to the communities, meeting with politicians and engaging with Yukoners about what the science is telling us on oil and gas development. Our aim is to push our elected leaders to ban fracking and move Yukon towards the renewable energy future that we all know we need.
None of us joined Yukoners Concerned with the intent of electing a particular political party. All that we can do is support the political party that best represents what we stand for. We feel there is a clear choice this election. The NDP have held a consistent position on fracking since the Yukon Party Government began promoting this unconventional method of oil and gas extraction a number of years ago. The NDP have recognized the science showing that it is not safe for the environment, and they have listened to Yukoners who have clearly expressed a desire to keep fracking out of our territory. They have always been unequivocal about it.
This has gained our trust.
Do we feel that a Liberal government would be an improvement on the Yukon Party? Perhaps. But we have so many question marks around the Liberals. We welcome their stated opposition to fracking, but outside of the election period, they’ve not shown any interest in engaging with us on these issues. We recently had renowned Cornell University scientist, Dr. Anthony Ingraffea make a special presentation to Yukoners about the science of shale gas development. At one point, he asked how many politicians were in the audience. There were 5 NDP candidates, but not a single Yukon Party or Liberal Party candidate.
This is concerning.
Ban vs. Moratorium
There is a significant difference between what the NDP are proposing, which is a legislated ban on fracking, and what the Liberals are proposing – a moratorium. Moratoriums are intended as temporary measures and it is implied that they will be lifted at some point in the future when circumstances change. But when it comes to fracking, we do not need more evidence or research about its impacts. The NDP position recognizes that fracking should never be permitted in the Yukon, while the Liberal position suggests that they might reconsider it, and a moratorium would give the Premier the power to do this with the stroke of a pen. If the Liberals were sincere about their opposition to fracking, then they would also be pushing for a ban.
Oil and gas development
The Liberals have spoken in favour of ‘conventional’ oil and gas development, saying they would support it when it results from land use planning. But modern conventional drilling often includes fracking. And because the majority of Yukon’s oil and gas is locked in shale, the prospects for development without fracking are limited. The Yukon NDP have recognized the fact that our oil and gas is locked in shale, and when asked about conventional development, they say they will not subsidize it.
Protection of our water
When asked by Yukoners Concerned in a survey if they would propose legislation to maintain our water quality as required in the UFA, and if they would require water studies to be done before development takes place, the Liberals answered “No” to both questions. The NDP answered “Yes” to both questions.
Our Energy Future
Former Yukon Energy CEO and President, David Morrison, has been advising the Liberal Party as their Policy Chair. Mr. Morrison was at the helm with Yukon Energy when it pushed the LNG (natural gas) plant on Yukoners despite their concerns, and under Morrison’s leadership there was clear agenda to develop Yukon’s shale gas resources. Are we to believe that he is advising the Liberals any differently?
So when it comes to a true commitment to close the door on fracking and
move towards a renewable energy economy, we feel the NDP is the best choice.
Explaining our decision to endorse the Yukon NDP.
November 4th, 2016
Yukoners Concerned is supporting the NDP on November 7