Dear Editor: While there are positive aspects of Dennis Bruce’s “Star Forum” on fracking in your edition of Aug. 21, there are some very troubling suggestions in it.
He is right to point out the large contribution of the oil industry and oil companies to the province’s economy. He is also right to underline the necessity of balancing the benefits of fracking to the province against the serious damage it may do.
However, there are some seriously disturbing ideas in what he writes, the most troubling of which is the suggestion is that the province commit itself to making a decision on fracking based on the findings of the review panel.
This would, I believe, amount to an abdication of democracy.
In our democracy, review panels can only be advisory, they cannot be policy-making.
This is the responsibility of the provincial government, and particularly so in the matter of fracking, which involves a momentous decision, profoundly affecting many many lives for many many years.
The suggestion of giving the review panel the responsibility of making the decision on fracking is particularly outrageous in view of the fact that there is going to be a provincial election within about a year.
The leaders of each of the three parties will have to make up their own minds about their stance regarding fracking when they come to creating the platforms on the basis of which they will seek a mandate. No review panel should have the power to short-circuit this process.
And the people of the province should have the right to choose their government on the basis, at least in part, of the platforms.
Martin Ware, Pasadena