Last week, 150 people gathered in Riverside-Albert, a village of 300, to find out more about the process of hydraulic fracturing, and to show their municipal council how they felt about recently approved oil and gas exploration and developments in Albert County. This followed a highly successful march with 200 people in Hillsborough the previous week.
At the same time, representatives from WEPAC spoke to Riverside-Albert council, asking them to support Hillsborough’s resolution of the previous week to stop all approved gas and oil activities; withdraw its approval of licenses to undertake the oil and gas exploration and development; and not renew existing licenses within 4km of village limits and 4 km from either of our water supplies, both above and below ground.
Following the Riverside-Albert rally, we understood from the mayor that council would be working with Hillsborough to decide how best to offer support. When asked if this meant they needed more discussion how to word their support, he said ‘yes’. However, in a follow-up newspaper article, he was quoted as saying Riverside-Albert’s circumstances were different than Hillsborough’s, but they are willing to ‘monitor’ the situation to see if any future action might be necessary.
We are very disappointed that the council is not taking concrete, affirmative steps to support Hillsborough (and by extension, the rest of Albert County); we do hope that they will reconsider this position.
We did plan to make a similar presentation to council in Alma, however as a public event before Christmas was ‘sparsely’ attended, we felt it best to wait until we’ve had a chance to speak to the community at large.