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Global Frackdown: Communities across Canada demand a stop to fracking

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Last week, over 300 events were organized in 34 countries for the Global Frackdown, an international day of action initiated by our U.S. allies at Food and Water Watch to ban fracking. Leading up to the Global Frackdown, the Council of Canadians released a poll that revealed that 70 per cent of Canadians want a national moratorium on fracking. The poll included a regional breakdown and found that even nearly half of Conservative voters, 87 per cent of NDP voters and 78 per cent of Liberal voters support a moratorium on fracking, The Green Party is currently the only federal party that supports a moratorium on fracking.

Several of us took part in the "Fracking wastewater bucket challenge" including National Chairperson Maude Barlow, myself, Atlantic Regional Organizer Angela Giles, Co-Chair of the NWT chapter Lois Little, Board member Steven Shrybman, Inverness Chapter member David Martin and friend of the Council Andrew Davis.

Council of Canadians chapters joined thousands of people around the world calling for a ban on fracking by organizing fun and creative events and action in their communities.

In Newfoundland Labrador, the St. John's chapter, along with the East Coast Fracking Awareness Group, organized a "Frackdown Boil Up" potluck. The group discussed what fracking would mean in the province and celebrated the key role community organizing had in securing a moratorium in the province.

Our friends at Port au Port/Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group in Stephenville called into local news show VOCM OPENLINE, wrote letters and submitted a video to the government, hosted vide screening of Fractured Country, An Unconventional Invasion and discussion and are
organizing a response to the upcoming fracking review in Newfoundland Labrador.

The Moncton Chapter organized a rally to remind newly elected premier Brian Gallant that people in New Brunswick want a ban on shale gas.

The Northwest Territories chapter organized a rally, film screening and discussion in Yellowknife. The Northern Journal reported, "Around 25 people joined the Council of Canadians on the rainy Saturday to march from Somba K'e Plaza to Northern United Place to take part in an information session on fracking that included a screening of the documentary Showdown, which focuses on the ongoing anti-fracking protests in New Brunswick."

In Manitoba, the Winnipeg Chapter along with with Transition Winnipeg and Boreal Action Project wrote a letter to the government urging it to declare a moratorium on fracking and highlight the dangers of hydrogen sulphide in the trainloads of Bakken oil passing through Winnipeg. The group also organized a letter writing campaign by students. Allies Dennis Leneveu spoke at the Fossil Fuel Divestment workshop at Building a Student Movement and James Magnus-Johnston from Transition Winnipeg participated in the Transition Winnipeg event both held on October 11.

The Quill Plains chapter hosted the event From the Belly of the Boom: Understanding and resisting Saskatchewan's oil boom with Dr. Emily Eaton, PhD and Valerie Zink. The event took place at 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. on October 18 at St. Peter's College (in the Reading Room, Third Floor) in Muenster, Saskatchewan.

In British Columbia, the Comox Valley Chapter will be hosting a Town Hall meeting on the impacts of fracking with Leila Darwish and Eoin Finn. The event will be held at Mark Isfeld Secondary School on November 4 at 7-9 p.m.



Dressed in coveralls and hard hats, members of the Windsor chapter set up a fake fracking rig in Dieppe Park announcing that they were going to "frack under the Detroit River." The invitation to the event invitation warned "Don't ask about the chemicals we will be using as it is none of your business." To see a full video of the event, click here.

The South Niagara Chapter organized a film screening with Josh Fox's award-winning documentary, Gasland, followed by discussion and a presentation by Toban Black, co-editor of the newly published collection, A Line in the Tar Sands. Struggles for Environmental Justice.

In London, chapter member Julie Picken-Cooper wrote a letter to the editor in the London Free Press drawing attention to the dangers of fracking. The letter concluded, "It does not seem to be worth the risk. In a time when we should be dramatically cutting back any kind of emissions that could advance the warming of the planet, this makes absolutely no sense. Say no to fracking!"

In Guelph, Ontario, chapter members handed out information and buttons at the Farmer's Market bring awareness to fracking in Ontario and get a ban on it before it comes to the province. The chapter is also organizing an event, Chat Cafe, at the Sapphire Lounge on Macdonnell St. on October 21 at 7 p.m. where fracking, water and voting will be discussed.

A week before the Global Frackdown, Pacific Regional organizer Leila Darwish, Board member Ken Kavanagh and myself gave a workshop called LNG and Shale Gas is Fracked! at the Council of Canadians' annual conference in Hamilton.

With most of Eastern Canada under fracking moratoriums -- thanks to the amazing work of our chapters and allies -- we must ensure these moratoriums become permanent bans, that fracking never happens in Ontario and the Great Lakes and that we put a stop LNG terminals in B.C. and put a stop to fracking in the Prairies, the Pacific coast and up north.


This blog is the last in our Global Frackdown Frack Free Fridays series. You can read the other Frack Free Friday blog posts here.

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