Who can Yukoners believe about the Yukon government's pilot fracking project?
Days after the Yukon government was caught designing a fracking project while telling Yukoners that none were scheduled, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Scott Kent is claiming the initiative is now scrapped – and Premier Darrell Pasloski is either unwilling or unable to tell Yukoners the truth about the plan. The discovery, brought to light through a leaked email, is the latest drip in a trickle of accidental releases detailing the government’s behind-the-scenes plan to bring fracking to Yukon.
“Fracking is one of Yukon’s most important public policy issues – and both the premier and his energy, mines and resources minister are mum about their government’s position,” said Yukon NDP leader Liz Hanson, who asked six questions about the leak today during Question Period. “The Yukon government’s penchant for secrecy is out of control. Instead of forcing Yukoners to rely on leaked documents, the Yukon government has a responsibility to tell Yukoners where it stands on fracking.”
A leaked email released this week, which appears to be written by EMR deputy minister George Ross, discusses “a couple of specific actions the M[inister] was looking for. Namely a ‘pilot fracing/science project’ in the liard basin” [sic]. EMR minister Scott Kent wasted no time telling local media that the pilot fracking project has been cancelled, raising questions about his neutrality before finishing his review of the final report of the Yukon Legislative Assembly’s fracking committee.
The minister’s sudden pilot project U-turn underscores the confusion regarding the policy direction given to government officials by the Yukon government. Last month, an EMR presentation and ministerial speaking notes were accidentally emailed to a reporter. The documents were quickly dismissed as drafts, but could not have been drafted without a policy position from the Yukon government. The latest leaked email confirms that Minister Kent has been calling on the public service to move forward with fracking in Yukon.
“This government has been caught saying one thing about fracking to Yukoners, then doing another behind our backs,” added Hanson. “The government’s agenda on fracking is clear. They want to proceed at all cost – no matter what Yukoners say and no matter what the scientific community says.”
For more information, please contact:
Mike Fancie, Yukon NDP Official Opposition
867-689-4866 or mike.fancie [at] yla.gov.yk.ca
Photo: ecopoly / flickr. Used under a Creative Commons BY-SA licence.