New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant, seems poised to follow through on a campaign promise to institute a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.
In the recent New Brunswick election, an unremarkable engineering activity apparently took front and centre: hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, popularly known as fracking.
Back in Canada’s pre-Confederation days, one selling point for uniting the then-disparate British provinces was to drop existing barriers to commerce. The hope was for a country with a free-flow of trade and services in which all could potentially prosper.
Nova Scotia’s government recently announced it would table legislation to establish a moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) for the production of natural gas in the province. The ban, which follows a lengthy report on the safety of hydraulic fracturing, is indefinite, but not permanent. (One is reminded of the saying that there is nothing more permanent than a temporary tax.).
From the fur trade to fisheries and forests, Canada was built on the toil and sweat of those who wanted to prosper. But these days, it’s harder to create opportunity. And sometimes, government is to blame. The latest example comes from Nova Scotia.
The recent native protests in New Brunswick against proposed hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') are not only devoid of facts but harm the potential for prosperity and lower personal taxes. Add in the anti-fracking frothing in neighbouring Nova Scotia, and also in Quebec, and it adds up to ill-advised provincial policies, this despite the safety of fracking.
Before detailing the potential for a lighter personal income tax burden if more resource development was allowed, here are the facts on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas.
Quebecs political leaders seem to have fallen for the Great Green Dream of economic prosperity without energy or natural resource production. Its a magical vision of a world powered by unicorns and rainbows, where consumer goods are somehow conjured out of thin air rather than being manufactured with resources extracted from the ground. But experience in Europe as well as in Ontario show that chasing the green dream is a path to financial ruin, not utopia.