Nova Scotia’s provincial government says despite the fact that a Cape Breton county is considering a municipal bylaw to ban hydraulic fracking, it will be the province who has the final say.
Jurisdiction around mineral rights falls under the province’s purview, said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell, who addressed the issue on January 22, 2013.
MacDonell said the province currently has a moratoriumon on hydraulic fracturing and is conducting a technical and policy review around the practice, which involves injecting high-pressure water and chemicals deep underground to burst shale rocks.
The Nova Scotia government expects to have the policy review completed by 2014.
The Municipality of the County of Inverness in Cape Breton is expected to give final reading to its fracking ban bylaw in March 2013, despite the fact it could be meaningless.
In a January 23, 2013 comment to The Canadian Press, County Warden Duart MacAulay said the county's legal staff worked to craft the bylaw using human rights provisions in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as they were concerned about the effects of fracking on health and the local environment.