Fracking trip’s itinerary released

The final itinerary for the upcoming government fact-finding mission regarding hydraulic fracturing has one notable change.

The final itinerary for the upcoming government fact-finding mission regarding hydraulic fracturing has one notable change.

The Select Committee Regarding the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic fracturing is travelling to Alberta from Jan. 6 to 8.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals deep underground to blast apart rocks and release natural gas trapped inside.

When a draft itinerary from November was made public, some people raised concerns that the committee was meeting with too many pro-fracking groups.

The final itinerary was released yesterday. It now includes a meeting with the Cochrane Area Under Siege Coalition, a vocal anti-fracking group from southwestern Alberta.

Don Roberts, chair of the group Yukoners Concerned About Oil and Gas Exploration first raised the concern about the original itinerary.

He believes adding the Cochrane group is a positive step, but says the final itinerary is still off balance.

He said too many of the groups are related to the fracking industry.

“Unfortunately when they go to Alberta, you’re already going with a loaded gun. You know that they’re into fracking big time, you know that they are into fossil fuels big time so anything that is negative or critical of what they are doing is not going to necessarily come to the surface.”

The committee, which includes MLAs Patti McLeod, Darius Elias, Currie Dixon, Lois Moorcroft, Sandy Silver and Jim Tredger, will be in Alberta from Jan. 6 to 8.

They will tour a hydraulic fracturing operation and a producing well site. They will meet with groups including the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Alberta Energy Regulator and Sundre Petroleum Operators Group and others.

Roberts questions whether the group will be able to get a balanced and fair perspective on their trip.

“I think the point is, if you see five or six groups that they’re going to and it’s all pro fracking and they’re going to just see one that is not necessarily pro fracking, is that a balance?”

A meeting with Alberta Health Services is also new to the itinerary.

Allison Lloyd, clerk of committees for the Yukon Legislative Assembly, said the final itinerary was revised and approved by the committee at its last meeting on December 16th.

Lloyd confirmed the Cochrane group was not on the original draft suggested by the Department of Energy Mines and Resources.

Meetings are confidential, Lloyd said, meaning she could not provide any more details on why the changes were made.

McLeod, the committee’s chair, could not be reached for comment in time for today’s deadline.

In an open letter sent to the media yesterday, she said one of the mandates of the Select Committee is to gain “a science-based understanding of the technical, environmental, economic and regulatory aspects of hydraulic fracturing,”

“We believe that this tour and these meetings will help us achieve that goal,” the letter said.

“While it was very difficult to decide which groups to meet with and how to spend our limited time in Calgary and Red Deer we believe that we have achieved a balanced schedule that allows us to hear from government regulators, industry experts, groups concerned about hydraulic fracturing, and academics.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley gives a COVID-19 update during a press conference in Whitehorse on May 26. The Yukon government announced two new cases of COVID-19 in the territory with a press release on Oct. 19. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
Two new cases of COVID-19 announced in Yukon

Contact tracing is complete and YG says there is no increased risk to the public

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on April 8. Yukon Energy faced a potential “critical” fuel shortage in January due to an avalanche blocking a shipping route from Skagway to the Yukon, according to an email obtained by the Yukon Party and questioned in the legislature on Oct. 14. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Energy faced ‘critical’ fuel shortage last January due to avalanche

An email obtained by the Yukon Party showed energy officials were concerned

Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys), the minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. “Our government is proud to be supporting Yukon’s grassroots organizations and First Nation governments in this critical work,” said McLean of the $175,000 from the Yukon government awarded to four community-based projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government gives $175k to projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women

Four projects were supported via the Prevention of Violence against Aboriginal Women Fund

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

When I was a kid, CP Air had a monopoly on flights… Continue reading

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Alkan Air hangar in Whitehorse. Alkan Air has filed its response to a lawsuit over a 2019 plane crash that killed a Vancouver geologist on board, denying that there was any negligence on its part or the pilot’s. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Alkan Air responds to lawsuit over 2019 crash denying negligence, liability

Airline filed statement of defence Oct. 7 to lawsuit by spouse of geologist killed in crash

Whitehorse city council members voted Oct. 13 to decline an increase to their base salaries that was set to be made on Jan. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council declines increased wages for 2021

Members will not have wages adjusted for CPI

A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse properties could soon expand

Land sale agreements approved by council

Most Read