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Do you support a territory-wide referendum on whether to allow fracking in the NWT?

It may come as a surprise but the number of candidates who declined to offer up a yes or no to the question of a referendum on fracking in the North was close to the number of those supporting it. Those saying a flat out no are in the minority.

Lyle Fabian

Yes I would support a territory wide referendum.




Kevin O'Reilly

There is very little if any probability of fracking taking place in the NWT in the next 3 to 5 years. This allows us time to hold a public review in the NWT with opportunities for meaningful consultation. Until such a review has been completed, I support an immediate moratorium on fracking in the NWT. An NWT review of fracking should examine whether fracking can be safely done and if so, under what terms and conditions. The review should also consider the issue of public disclosure and impacts to the environment and human health.

Roy Erasmus

Yes, I support a moratorium on fracking until we know more about it. There are too many unknowns. I support development, but it has to be responsible. Allowing fracking at this time is not responsible. There have been too many reports of bad things happening to human and animal health and to water in Alberta and the United States. 

B.C.'s Oil and Gas Commission also recently confirmed to CBC that fracking caused a 4.4-magnitude earthquake in northeastern B.C. last year.  

Deneze Nakehk'o

In all matters, proper and research-based information is required to make good decisions. When it comes to hydraulic fracturing there is just not enough information to ensure the safety of our water and integrity of the land. Other jurisdictions across the country and the world have moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing, this should give us pause to make sure we are making the best decisions for our water, land and people. We need the best and most complete information on hydraulic fracturing before we proceed to a referendum.

Arnold Hope

Yes, I support a territorial-wide referendum on fracking in the NWT.





Ben Nind

Yes I would be open to this but I would support a moratorium and ultimately a ban on all horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the NWT. This high-impact industrial activity will have an enormous impact upon above land eco-systems, below land geological stability, air quality and clean water resources. The social impacts of this development will also change the ties to land activity and a way of life that needs to be respected and preserved. We need to work towards leaving these resources in the ground and not have them add to the climate change scenario happening now and affecting us directly.

Caroline Cochrane

Yes! NWT Residents want input as to what is happening in their environment. People have concerns that hydraulic fracturing is preceding without a transparent consideration of all of the health, social, environmental and economic costs and benefits.

Canada as a whole is asking for a change. People are asking to be heard and it is imperative that our government begin to really solicit NWT resident’s opinions on critical issues that will affect the NWT now and far into the future.  

Yvonne Doolittle

I believe that residents would benefit from education and information about fracking prior to any decision making process is agreed upon.



R.J. Simpson

MLAs are elected to make decisions on these types of issues on behalf of their constituents, so I don't believe a referendum is necessary. However, if the residents of Hay River North clearly indicate that they want a referendum, I would support one.


Cory Vanthuyne

As a territory we need to learn a lot more about fracking and the potential costs and benefits it may have. Our people and our environment will always come first. I will support and promote an open dialogue and further territory wide engagement, including industry, so we can all better understand the impacts of fracking on our territory.


Robert Hawkins

I support a pause until better public consultation and a meaningful dialogue happens with all northerners. As information continues to develop on this issue weekly, I want Northerners to play a key role in the choices that we make going forward. As many recall, I authored a motion calling for a public plebiscite on this very issue, I wanted Northerners engaged. The North is everyone’s home and we can all play a role to helping. My focus is simply that everyone needs to understand the risks and benefits of fracking before we consider moving forward.

Jan Fullerton

Yes. I have addressed this on my website in the “18 Headaches” section.




Frederick Blake Jr.

Yes I do, there was some consultation done on fracking although it wasn't in every community. Having a referendum would give a clear message whether the people of the NWT support fracking or not.




Wally Schumann

This is a complicated issue because it would have an impact on settled land claims. However, fracking presents an important economic growth opportunity for the North. It’s definitely worth considering but more consultation needs to be done before even considering whether we should have a referendum.


Shane Thompson

 I believe the elected body can and should be trusted to make the best decision for the NWT after consulting with the people.




Edwin Castillo

Not at this point. However, I would support a moratorium on fracking in the NWT that is contingent on the completion of a comprehensive consultation and review of the environmental and health impacts of fracking. Residents need to be informed of the full costs and benefits before a referendum is warranted.


Robert Bouchard

I know we need a lot more communication on this issue. The government has time, we know there is no demand for the next couple of years. We need to discuss this issue with the people of the NWT. I know if we go forward that we need to have the strongest regulation process to protect the North.

Dave Ramsay

No, this item was debated and voted on by the 17th assembly. We have committed to a continued dialogue with residents on how best to regulate the practice. 




Kieron Testart

I do not support hydraulic fracturing operations in the NWT until such time as sufficient evidence is available for communities to make an informed decision. My plan supports a collaborative approach with territories, provinces, aboriginal governments and the federal government on a national strategic assessment of hydraulic fracturing to provide certainty to both industry and communities about environmental and economic impacts. This is a divisive issue and I cannot support a referendum until all the facts are available for consideration by citizens and decision makers. We cannot afford to take risks that may cost us millions for environmental cleanup and jeopardize the future health of our communities. 

Jane Groenewegen

When all the research and information is collected on the experience of other jurisdictions where fracking is currently being undertaken, I would support another round of public consultation by an impartial independant group. In the meantime, commodity prices are such that exploration and activity in the oil and gas sector is likely on hold any way. This allows us more time to contemplate regulations and further observe best practices in other jurisdictions. 

Dennis Nelner

I support the people of the NWT having a say in the fracking debate. I don’t think it’s wise to compare fracking to the United States experience although I believe there were important lessons learned. Video and images of running tap water catching fire using a lighter is fear mongering and is apples and oranges to the fracking proposed in the Sahtu; scientific data should be used.

There is a largely overlooked potential danger with fracking that I would like to point out – the distribution of these chemicals in any large quantity across the NWT; what are the safe guards used and would there be any containment equipment along the route for spills, truck rollovers etc.

Kevin Menicoche

The GNWT has inherited the responsibility for hydraulic fracturing and failed to have a proper public discussion. I agree the real question and the real public engagement is too defer fracking right now and have a Territory wide public discussion about the future of fracking in the NWT.


Nigit'stil Norbert

Absolutely. There is no need to go to such extremes in environmental degradation in the North. Please note that two petitions were turned into the previous government, one with almost 1,000 signatures and another with more than 1,100 calling for moratoriums until fracking could be proved safe and until there were strong environmental regulations in place. Both were rejected by MLAs who said this did not indicate there was significant public concern. These were the largest petitions ever turned into the government on any issue and the MLAs said, in essence, that the concerns of the public did not count. This is not acceptable. To continue on this path is to ignore healthier alternatives in the development of sustainable green energy which is the only way forward. We are at a point where we have to consider what is more important; satisfying short term need and greed or the continuation of life.

Jimmy Kalinek

No because there are land claims in different parts of the territory.





Alfred Moses

At the moment with no activity happening in the NWT with horizontal hydraulic fracturing, which I assume you are talking about. 

I believe that the government's approach to do more consultation with residents of the NWT on the regulations needs to be supported before taking those measures. Due to the fact that there is no activity at the moment, this allows for the time to do more research and speak to the residents of the North.

Dan Wong

I do. When presented with an initiative to give the people an opportunity to speak clearly and directly to the government on a matter of importance to them, I will always be in full support. Unfortunately, we missed an opportunity to dovetail a referendum with the 2015 territorial election. More importantly, we need a moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing activity for at least two years, or until the completion of a comprehensive, transparent and public review of the cumulative environmental, social and economic risks and benefits of the process. If elected, that’s what I’ll propose.  

Tom Beaulieu

I think we have time to ask the people of the NWT what they think, but I'm not sure a referendum is the right tool.






Bob McLeod

Not right now. We need to consult with communities, advance public education initiatives and create a shared understanding of hydraulic fracturing (HF). Most people that I speak with say they don’t know enough about HF to make an informed decision. But these decisions will be critical to our future. We need to fill those gaps. There are many conflicting opinions right now. The oil and gas industry has packed up and left the NWT. We don’t expect to see any exploration, let alone projects, for the foreseeable future; probably 10 years. We have time. So let’s take the time to get it right through consultation and education. Then ask the question.


Norman Snowshoe

Yes I do. This is such an important issue for the residents of the Northwest Territories. We are all stewards of the land in the North and the North being such a fragile environment we should all have a say on how we develop the North. Especially with such a contentious process as fracking.




Chris Clarke

Yes, we must have a referendum on fracking. The public has to be part of this decision.   





Brian Willows

For all intents and purposes with the world price of oil and tight investment dollars we have a world market moratorium on fracking in the North. This is the perfect opportunity for the next legislature to take this issue to the people with a view to education and consultation culminating in a referendum. So on that basis I am in favour of a referendum.


Daryl Dolynny

This is an important public policy issue that deserves a thorough and transparent review and, more importantly, further input from the people of the NWT. I would support a motion in the legislative assembly that proposes a review to determine the acceptability of fracking amongst NWT residents.

Julie Green

Yes. There has been significant and widespread interest and concern about fracking, with aboriginal governments in the Mackenzie Valley passing motions calling for a review of the practice. This issue is important to all Northerners, and each of them should have an opportunity to make their views known.



Glen Abernethy

All applications for hydraulic fracturing must go through a comprehensive environmental and social assessment to determine whether or not individual applications should be approved on a case-by-case basis.




Don Jaque







Samuel Roland

As MLAs you are there for the people so I believe giving the people a choice in the matter is required. If not a territory-wide, a breakdown by region.



Desmond Loreen

Is there really a K in fraccing? I think we should let the people
decide if fraccing has a place in the North. Let's hear evidence and
look at the hard data. Once we have all the information we can make a
decision based on fact and not opinion.


David Krutko

We need more research on the water, from ground water to springs. 





Ethel Jean Gruben

Thank you for your request for information.  I am currently visiting the voters in the communities in my riding, discussing issues that matter most to them and are very important to them and will not be responding to your request at this time.

I will be available at a later date.

Jackie Jacobson

I think the government would have to put it to a vote to the whole territory but that limits the Sahtu from their land claim agreement and the opportunity to sustain themselves in oil and gas development. 




Randy Sibbeston

I support people's rights to vote on issues and have more of a say than the current system allows.

It will be an improvement if we find and use a democratic mechanism to engage the public on issues like this.


David Wasylciw

The NWT has a strong regulatory system that works to protect the environment and balance out the interests of development with environmental protection. When it received an application, now withdrawn, for horizontal fracking, the Mackenzie Valley Review Board recommended that the project undergo a full environmental assessment which would include considerable public input.
With no current applications pending or on the horizon, and the government's commitment to revise the original fracking regulations, I do not believe it is necessary to go through the costly process of a referendum at this time. The new federal government has committed to a national review of horizontal fracking and the GNWT needs to participate fully in this review, as it will allow us to take full advantage of these resources. Once this national review has been completed, our government will be able to make a more informed decision on future development in the NWT.

Sean Erasmus

I will support a ban on horizontal hydraulic fracturing because there is already enough data to suggest that it is unhealthy and unwise to frack, so why pay for a referendum?  I also believe that whole lakes could disappear and we would be in a worse drought situation, like the U.S. If there isn’t enough support for a territory-wide ban, I will support or put a motion forward for at least a 50 year moratorium on fracking.  The U.S. has been fracking for around 60 years and probably has around 50 to 100 years of gas left. What happened to all their lakes? They had lots, too. It’s going to be way too expensive for water in the future. Let’s not look at short-term monetary gains at the price of our water, please.

William Firth

I don't believe in adding my voice to any of the issues at this time until after the elections are held.  Thank you.




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