An NDP private member’s bill (Bill 82) to amend the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act to prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in oil and gas exploration and production passed second reading in the Ontario Legislature before the house broke for the summer. Bill 82 would effectively block fracking in the province and ensure that any future interest in fracking for gas would be subject to a review by the Legislature. The Bill has received support from a number of Liberal MPPs.
Eleanor McMahon, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNR), confirmed in debate that there is no fracking currently taking place in Ontario, nor are there any pending applications before the MNR requesting approval for the use of fracking or for the exploration for shale gas or oil. Ms. McMahon also stated that is also no indication at this time that Ontario hosts any economic reserves of shale gas.
The Bill has now been referred to the Standing Committee on General Government.
This article was co-authored by Haley Wong, an articling student at Aird & Berlis LLP.