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Yukon's Mount Lorne Hamlet council rejects hydraulic fracturing

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My friend Jacqueline Vigneux of Mount Lorne, 40 Km out of Whitehorse, between Whitehorse and Carcross. writes...

"Here we are rushing to uncover the government's plan to frack the Yukon....

Last year Government was ready to offer two lots to Oil and Gas (few Km away from my boyfriend's property) a  bunch of us stood up and now there is a moratorium on fracking till the next election.

We are happy that at least, some of the council approved our idea.

Yukon's Mount Lorne Hamlet council rejects hydraulic fracturing.

The Council Assembly of the Hamlet of Mt Lorne was held, Tuesday, May 7 at the Community Centre.

A special issue on the agenda this month: A resolution to ban hydraulic fracturing was presented by Werner Rhein, resident and member of the group "Yukoners Concerned about Oil & Gas Exploration and Development."

After reading the resolution, you could hear a pin drop; nobody in the room had questions. When it was the turn for the councillors, one of them spoke out saying that the involvement of the resolution was too high and he did not feel  informed enough to make a decision on such a resolution, another abstained due to conflict of interest. Another asked if this resolution called for attention and immediate action.

Mr. Rhein replied: "It should not be like with the City of Whitehorse, which has heard the resolution in February and there is still no decision taken." Then he emphasized that unlike many other regions, Yukon should protect itself against hydraulic fracturing before it rolls over us.

The council chair, Peter Percival, rose-up and said: "I am in favor of having no hydrocarbon development in this community. We do not have jurisdiction to tell what to do to anyone, the only thing we can do is to advise our government. I am perfectly prepared, to consider a changed motion (which can be presented to the council) explaining that I can easily live without fossil fuels that could be developed in this community, but I cannot live without fresh water. I am prepared to make a letter to the Minister of Energy Mines and Resources Brad Cathers asking the Yukon Government not to issue permits for drilling, refineries and storage of hydrocarbon, oil and gas products within or underground of the limits of the Hamlet of Mount Lorne. He added: "I would like to pass this motion now (and repeated the motion) and ask for a seconder."

One councilor seconded the motion which she found clear. They passed the motion, with one abstention, one against and two for.

MLA Lois Moorcroft, filling in for Mount Lorne MLA Kevin Barr had earlier announced that on May 6, Motion # 433 of the Minister Brad Cathers was accepted to form the select committee of 6 MLAs on risks & benefits of hydraulic fracturing and they intend to consult only the Yukon communities of Old Crow and Watson Lake. The following two amendments were rejected by five of the six ministers chosen for the panel to discuss fracking.

• Amendment to change "two communities" to "all communities"
• Amendment to change "A majority vote" instead of "A method of decision by consensus".

Jacqueline Vigneux May 10th, 2013.

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