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Newfoundland bans fracking pending more research


Amid ongoing anti-fracking protests in New Brunswick that have at times turned violent, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador on Monday came out against the process, saying it requires more study.

“Our government will not be accepting applications for onshore and onshore to offshore petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing,” Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley said in the house of assembly.

He said the province wants to review how other jurisdictions regulate the process, assess its geological impact and get public input before going ahead with any fracking exploration.

Dalley cited the example of the oil and gas industry, which has been very profitable for the province but which is subject to “stringent” rules and regulations.

“Our first consideration is the health and safety of our people,” Dalley said. “In making this decision, our government is acting responsibly and respecting the balance between economic development and environmental protection.”

Some Mi’kmaq First Nation members and their supporters in New Brunswick planned to light a “sacred fire” Monday to protest fracking in that province.

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