NDP calls for Liberals to take clear stand on shale gas

FREDERICTON – The following is a statement by NDP Leader Dominic Cardy on the many positions of the Liberal party on shale gas.

“Mr. Gallant and his Liberal party need to be honest with the voters when it comes to shale gas. The Liberals who signed the shale gas leases under the previous government are the same Liberals who ran Brian Gallant’s leadership campaign. How can the people of New Brunswick trust Mr. Gallant when he says he will say no to shale gas?”

“The NDP is the only party with a comprehensive policy when it comes to natural resource development. We would submit every natural resource project to a two test rule to determine whether it is safe and profitable.”

The first test would be administered by an independent Environmental Protection Agency, with the costs of the test to be borne by the industry. The agency will decide whether the industry is capable of safe operation, with safety including impacts on human health and the environment, and, if the answer to that question is yes, what requirements the industry will need to meet. If the EPA decides the industry is unsafe the proposal will be rejected.

If the industry’s proposal passes the first test then the costs of implementing the list of conditions set by the EPA would be established by the Department of Finance. A provincial royalty rate would be established above any costs to be borne by the province or industry. If the final price makes the project financially unviable then the industry would not go ahead. The industry would then have to decide if it is ready to bear the cost of safe operations that benefit New Brunswick.

“The government has not proven shale gas meets these two tests. A new NDP government would base natural resource projects on the best interests of New Brunswick and not on the Liberal backroom boys.”