At issue is an application by the small First Nation to cancel a water licence in the Horn River Basin, in the heart of the shale gas region, where it’s located. It was issued to Nexen, a key player in the Basin, which is now wholly owned by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, which leads the Aurora LNG partnership.
The challenge comes at a time when provincial Environment Minister Mary Polak is trying to get ahead of fracking opponents with new legislation on the allocation of water rights. In addition, we are likely only months away from the completion of a study on whether fracking fluids contaminate drinking water. Premier Christy Clark is on record insisting there has never been a single confirmed case of contamination from industry activity in 50 years.
However, fracking opponents like Maude Barlow, the chair of the citizens’ advocacy group the Council of Canadians, is calling for more grassroots democracy to protect what she calls the birthright of all Canadians to challenge what she calls the established rules for trade motivated only by corporate profit.
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