Nova Scotia Municipality Passes Fracking Ban Based on Community Health Grounds

The Municipality of the County of Inverness, Nova Scotia passed an anti- fracking bylaw on May 6th.  The bylaw bypasses provincial jurisdiction over mineral rights and drilling permits and focuses on using the precautionary principle to protect citizens’ health and wellbeing.  The bylaw, while specifically drafted to prevent fracking in Inverness County, establishes a framework for any municipality to protect its citizens from harmful activities that threaten the health of the community.  It empowers such municipal action and advocacy by appealing to legal principles in international law, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, related interpretations and decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, and provincial legislation. See the Cape Breton Post article at http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2013-05-06/article-3237799/Inverness-County-passes-anti-fracking-bylaw/1  ;  also see the website of the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition, (NOFRAC)  at http://nofrac.wordpress.com/ .  Their report, Out of Control, released on April 22, documents the fracking experience in Hants County from 200, relying on documents obtained by Freedom of Information requests. The province of Nova Scotia is currently undergoing a provincial review of fracking before allowing any permits, and the decision on the review is set to be released in 2014.  See the Government Review website at http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/pollutionprevention/consultation.hydraulic.fracturing.asp  .

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