Fracking forum links N.B. and B.C. community groups online

1 11 2015

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New Brunswick ‘has a lot of the experience that other Canadians can learn from,’ says organizer

CBC News Posted: Nov 01, 2015 8:19 AM AT Last Updated: Nov 01, 2015 8:19 AM AT

The faith-based KAIROS group organized an online public forum on fracking that took place simultaneously in Vancouver and Moncton.

The faith-based KAIROS group organized an online public forum on fracking that took place simultaneously in Vancouver and Moncton. (Canadian Press)

(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

B.C. community groups seeking information on dealing with fracking development in their province met with New Brunswickers via an online forum Saturday.

Community leaders, church groups and First Nations people in Vancouver linked up by video with like-minded people in Moncton to learn how to slow fracking developments in northern B.C. and to perhaps convince their government to place a moratorium on the process.

It’s been almost a year since New Brunswick declared a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

Now other groups across Canada opposed to fracking developments are looking to New Brunswick to learn how to convince their governments to do the same.

Ian Thompson, the partnership co-ordinator with KIAROS group — a faith-based organization concerned about fracking’s impact on small communities — helped put together this weekend’s coast-to-coast forum.

“So we did feel that these two provinces were where we really wanted to root the discussions because we do feel that [New Brunswickers] have a lot of the experience that other Canadians can learn from,” said Thompson.

“You hear a lot from the provincial government on the issue of fracking, and you hear a lot from industry on fracking, but what we felt was missing from the debate was really the community voices and what their concerns are.”

Jennifer Henry, KAIROS’s executive director said, “There hasn’t been the chance to exchange views and for communities who were experiencing struggles around these issues to exchange their issues with one another. So that’s what this program is trying to do.”

Henry says this weekend’s event is just one of many similar projects planned for the future.

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