Review panels must only offer advice

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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

Organizations: Dear Editor

Geographic location: Pasadena

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  • Chris
    August 29, 2014 - 08:07

    I find this letter to be disingenuous. The letter Martin Ware is responding to ask that a review process result in a decision -- as he clearly recognizes in his own letter. Asking government to commit to making a decision based on the findings of this process it started is not at all like asking an unelected panel to set policy, not even a teeny bit like it. Martin must realize this. This is just the uninformed anti-fracking contingent, recognizing that an independent review will most definitely result in the allowance of fracking on some level. And with that recognition in mind, they are already hedging their bets and getting ready to undermine confidence in the independent review process they so desperately wanted.