Fracking potential on Manitoulin is a cause for concern

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an open letter to the Honourable Jim Bradley, minister of environment, that has been reprinted here at the request of the author.

Dear Mr. Bradley,

I have recently read articles in our local newspaper, The Manitoulin Expositor, that report there has been some geological research done on Manitoulin Island to look at the potential for natural gas drilling. These articles raise fears that hydraulic fracturing may be the method used to extract natural gas from the shale rock below.

After reading about and seeing films concerning the negative impact of “fracking” in the USA I am concerned that Ontario does not have regulations in place to protect our fragile environment from the adverse effects of hydraulic fracturing. Considering Manitoulin Island sits in the Great Lakes system which supplies many large communities with essential drinking water, and dwindling fresh water resources worldwide, I think any such drilling here poses a significant risk to the environment that we cannot afford to permit.

Please pay close attention to any exploration for natural gas exploitation in Ontario, and assure Ontarians that we will be protected from neglectful oil and gas companies. Protect our precious water resources. Perhaps a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province of Ontario, similar to that of Quebec, is in order.

I know from discussion with my neighbours that there will be a strong protest against fracking on Manitoulin Island. People are afraid for their safety and health, and the health of this beautiful environment we are so lucky to enjoy here on Manitoulin Island.

Thank you for your consideration of this important issue and acting to protect our fragile environment.

Lynda Chandler
Little Current