Another broken promise

Another broken promise On Jan. 14, Resources Minister Brad Cathers wrote a letter to Yukoners Concerned About Oil & Gas Exploration/Development in which he referred to a motion he introduced in the legislature that would ensure that Yukoners would be inc

On Jan. 14, Resources Minister Brad Cathers wrote a letter to Yukoners Concerned About Oil & Gas Exploration/Development in which he referred to a motion he introduced in the legislature that would ensure that Yukoners would be included in the future discussion about oil and gas development.

As an outcome of this motion, Cathers announced in the House that an all-party select committee would be formed to study hydraulic fracturing and would report back to the legislature within a year.

We felt that this was a positive move by the Yukon Party government but were disappointed that the committee would not study the development of oil and gas in the Yukon at all the stages of exploration, production and reclamation, as outlined in point two of his motion passed in Nov. 2012.

Now we learn that an all-party select committee will only investigate hydraulic fracturing in the communities of Old Crow and Watson Lake, as revealed by Cathers in the legislature on May 6.

Are not all communities of the Yukon stakeholders in the development of oil and gas in the Yukon? We believe they are, and should be included in the scientific review of all proposed oil and gas projects in the Yukon.

Once again the Yukon Party government is using the “divide and conquer methodology,” pitting one community against another using the prospect of short-term economic gains for some, while minimizing the long-term destructive after-effects for all.

The only reason we have a moratorium on drilling in the Whitehorse Trough until the next territorial election is because of the huge opposition of Yukoners. We believe a majority of Yukoners are opposed to fracking because of the risks to human health and environment.

Once again we have the Yukon Party government playing “smoke and mirrors” with Yukoners, pretending they are being transparent and honest about their intentions.

We have heard countless times from the premier and Cathers that the next generation of electricity producing equipment was going to be using liquefied natural gas. It is a fact that Yukon oil and gas geology has a shale characteristic. This means to extract the fossil fuels, fracking must be used in the drilling process, which poisons the water forever.

The very fact that the all-party select committee will be focusing on only two communities in this scientific review tells the majority of Yukoners they don’t count in this discussion even though their well-being, their highways, their jobs and their environments are threatened.

Yukoners Concerned demand that all Yukon communities be included in the discussion with the all-party select committee, because we are all stakeholders in the future development of oil and gas in the Yukon.

Let Cathers know that Yukoners want to be part of the scientific review of oil and gas discussion and that there must be visitations to all communities.

Don Roberts

Chair, Yukoners Concerned About Oil & Gas Exploration/Development