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Calling for a Moratorium on Horizontal Fracking in British Columbia

Media Release: March 29, 2016
Andrew Weaver calls for a moratorium on horizontal fracking in B.C.
For Immediate Release

Victoria B.C. – Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, says that a new report linking hydraulic fracturing and increased seismic activity highlights an immediate need for the province to adopt a moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing until there is a better understanding of its risks.

“I am calling on both the government and the official opposition to join me in supporting a moratorium on horizontal fracking in British Columbia,” says Weaver. “Other jurisdictions, like Quebec, New York, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, have already suspended the practice and B.C. should follow suit.”

The study, set to be published in the journal of Seismological Society of America, surveyed seismic activity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin over the last 25 years and found a direct link between induced earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing in BC and Alberta.

“I am calling for a moratorium on horizontal fracturing in B.C. until we establish scientific certainty on the risks it poses,” says Weaver. “Earthquakes, groundwater contamination, fresh water use, sour gas leaks, environmental degradation and terrain modification, are all concerning side effects of fracking and they warrant comprehensive and cumulative scientific review.”

In the last decade drilling in B.C.’s Northeast has increased dramatically. Every year there are hundreds of new natural gas wells drilled in the province.

“Last year we saw a 4.6 quake caused by fracking in the Fort St. John area,” says Weaver. “Now we have the scientific evidence showing a clear link between fracking and earthquakes, but we really have no idea what the risks of this increased seismic activity amount to. We are flying blind.”

“The BC Green Party has consistently called for a moratorium on fracking in our province. To continue to allow horizontal fracking in B.C. is irresponsible in light of mounting evidence.”

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Media Contact
Mat Wright – Press Secretary Andrew Weaver MLA
1 250 216 3382



Atkinson, G.M., D.W. Eaton, H. Ghofrani, D. Walker, B. Cheadle, R. Schultze, R. Shcherbakov, K. Tiampo, J. Gu, R. M. Harrington, Y. Liu, M. van der Baan, and H. Kao, 2016: Hydraulic Fracturing and Seismicity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin Seismological Research Letters, 87(3), doi: 10.1785/0220150263.


  1. k-
    March 30, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    The real question would be at what point would the Green Party actually lift the moratorium. What are the standards of debate? What measurements should be used over whether to give fracking the green light or not?

    I suspect for the Green Party no amount of positive evidence would encourage them to support fracking.

  2. Rebecka-
    March 29, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    This is a real SOS!!!! Our fresh water/soil is precious for our health and all life on earth, That intricately interconnected! This is poisoning ourselves and future generations for the sake of corporate profits/usual greed!?! It is certainly of no benefit to the people, animals, land and ultimately our food and health!!!!!! We cannot eat or drink money!!! It is time to change the “economy” as we know it so that we preserve the precious natural resources that we are so lucky to have here in our beautiful province! Where is the respect owed to the land!!!! We have much to learn from the native cultures around the world! That live in harmony with natures abundance,,,instead of destroying and poisoning our home!!!!

  3. Matt-
    March 29, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    About time. Get the frack out of BC.

  4. Eronne Foster-
    March 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    It breaks my heart that we elect people whose first concern is not safety. How refreshing it would be to hear a politician say we better slow down a bit and listen to the experts. I don’t know why we don’t demand integrity in leadership.