PORT ELGIN and TORONTO, ON, Nov. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Unifor, Canada's largest energy union, is calling for a Canada-wide moratorium on all new oil and gas fracking. Already the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have introduced moratoriums on fracking. Nova Scotia has banned fracking while undertaking a review. Unifor is now pushing for a national moratorium.
Unifor is raising concerns about the safety and environmental risks associated with fracking as well as the lack of informed consent by First Nations about fracking activities on traditional lands.
In the statement unanimously passed by the 25-person Unifor National Executive Board, the union expressed support for the non-violent protest efforts by First Nations to resist fracking activity on their lands. The Unifor National Executive Board is made up of elected representatives from across the country and a variety of economic sectors, including energy.
"Unconventional gas fracking has the potential to have catastrophic effects on our environment and economy. The safety risks are also a major concern for our union," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "Just because we can carry out this activity does not mean we should. We must enact a national moratorium on fracking activity."
Dias also noted that it would be folly for Canada to reorient our entire energy infrastructure around a short-term surge in an unsustainable energy supply.
From the statement:
"Any resource extraction industry in Canada must confront the problem of unresolved aboriginal land claims, and the inadequate economic benefits (including employment opportunities) which have been offered to First Nations communities from resource developments. This problem is especially acute with fracking because of the widespread land which would be affected by the activity, and the heated, profit-hungry rush which the industry is set to quickly unleash. Many Canadians share these concerns with the potential economic, social, and environmental damage of an unregulated fracking industry.
Instead of being guided by short-term swings in prices and profits for private energy producers, Canada's federal and provincial governments must develop and implement (in cooperation with other stakeholders) a national plan for a stable, sustainable energy industry that respects our social and environmental commitments, and generates lasting wealth for all who live here."
To read the full statement, please visit: http://www.unifor.org/sites/default/files/attachments/neb_resolution_on_fracking_nov2013_e.pdf