Comprehensive EIA and Full Treaty Consult for Frack

28 05 2014

27 May 2014

Hon. David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick
Hon. Craig Leonard, Minister of Energy and Mines,
Hon. Danny Soucy, Minister of Environment and Local Government,

Re: Ann Pohl’s Letter of May 26, 2014 to Hon. Danny Soucy, Minister of Environment and Local Government concerning EIA Applications 1381, 1382, 1383, 1384

I am writing to you in support of Ann Pohl’s recommendations and to raise a couple of questions not contained in her letter to Hon. Danny Soucy, copied to Hon. David Alward and Hon. Craig Leonard, among others.

Is my understanding correct that a Comprehensive EIA Review and full Treaty-based consultation with First Nations communities are legally binding responsibilities of the Government of New Brunswick, in the first place, its Premier and Ministers, that no short-cuts to circumvent these requirements are legally, let alone morally, permissible?

If my understanding is correct, this circumstance raises several further related questions.  Whose responsibility is it to hold the Premier and Ministers of the Government responsible for abiding by the law?  Aside from the right of the people to replace one set of elected officials with another set at election time, what other constraints serve to cause government officials to avoid circumventing the law when moral constraints appear to be inadequate?

I trust you recognize, as we all must do, that we are living in a time of significant cultural change in the direction of higher expectations of democratic process, environmentally sustainable practices and government action on behalf of the public’s health and welfare.  I believe this cultural change is being impelled by human need.  Wouldn’t it be better for elected officials to endeavour to lead, rather than resist this cultural change?

Do you imagine that there will be no personal consequences, in the first place moral ones, if your actions in government are later held responsible for great damage to the health of New Brunswickers and their environment?

Evidently there are many other safer options available to New Brunswick for energy generation, tax revenue and job creation than opening the province up to hydro-fracking for shale gas.

At the very least, would it not be more prudent to proceed with great caution in relation to the environment and risks to the health of present and future generations?


Charles McFadden
Fredericton and Gagetown, New Brunswick

Copy:  Ann Pohl




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