February 18th, 2018

N.S. has no intention of removing fracking ban ‘at this point,’ premier says

By The Canadian Press on February 8, 2018.

Premier Stephen McNeil delivers the state-of-the-province speech at a business luncheon in Halifax on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s premier has moved to clarify remarks made to a business audience about the province’s ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Stephen McNeil told the Halifax Chamber of Commerce that if a community decides it will give a “social licence” to initiate fracking, the province would be “happy to join them.”

Following a cabinet meeting today, McNeil told reporters he meant that if any community brings forward a broad consensus on the possibility of fracking in their area, his government would look at the information.

But McNeil says the province plans no consultation process and has “no intention” of changing its position on the ban “at this point.”

He says it would be up to communities or private companies to hold public consultations if they are interested in doing so.

NDP Leader Gary Burrill says the governing Liberals are talking out of “both sides of their mouths” on the issue and his party believes the ban should remain in place.

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