It’s Right to Know week. The Yukon Commissioner’s proclamation says the right to know is necessary for democracy.
Are we allowed to know the chemicals used in fracking? Chemicals that will be transported, handled, mixed with fresh water and injected into the ground - are we allowed to know?
No. The chemical cocktail used in fracking is a proprietary right for oil and gas companies, sort of like the proprietary secret special sauces of fast-food franchises.
Planning to permit fracking in Yukon without either baseline hydrological data, or knowledge of the chemicals being applied is a plan to never know the impacts of fracking.
I care about water, but I don’t have the right to know what chemicals are being mixed with it.
Are we allowed to know about free trade deals? No. We are not allowed to know Yukon’s position in the current and ongoing CETA negotiations. CETA is the Canada-European Union Trade Agreement.
According to leaked documents, big pharma is lobbying for CETA to include patent extension, so that drug prices stay high. It has been estimated by an industry association that patent extension in CETA could cost Canada $13 billion extra a year, $1.9 million a year in Yukon.
I care about our public health-care system. But I don’t have the right to know how industry lobbying impacts the sustainability of the system overall.
And I care about food. Are we allowed to have labels that indicate whether our food has genetically modified ingredients?
No. It turns out every week is ‘corporate right to secrecy week’.
Happy Right to Know week, Yukon! Just remember: what you don’t know can’t hurt you.