Baillie supports moratorium on fracking

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WHYCOCOMAGH — Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie discussed hydraulic fracturing on Tuesday during a stop in Inverness County.

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Baillie was joined by fellow party member and Inverness incumbent Allan MacMaster during a visit with constituents at the Whycocomagh Co-op.

Asked by reporters about proposed oil-and-gas exploration in the Lake Ainslie watershed, Baillie said he agrees with the two-year moratorium that has been placed on fracking.

After launching a review of fracking in 2011, the Nova Scotia government announced in August it would begin an independent review led by David Wheeler, the president of Cape Breton University and an expert on water quality and groundwater pollution.

Baillie said the external review was something the Progressive Conservatives called for two years ago, adding that there is a great amount of concern over the issue.

"I believe that the current time out on fracking while we examine all the science and examine what economic benefit in real jobs may or may not be there, is appropriate," said Baillie. "In fact, I cannot imagine that we would ever force a project on a community where there's not that many jobs, and where there's not really any local support, until we know for sure that there's proven environmental safety and proven jobs, and we're not there yet."

MacMaster said there are concerns about possibile contamination if drilled wells leak.

"If it's something that's unsafe and people don't want (it), well we shouldn't have it," said MacMaster.

Baillie and MacMaster also visited Waycobah on Tuesday to discuss issues, including economic development and road improvements, with First Nation leaders.

Baillie said his party's platform helps rural Nova Scotia, including communities just like Waycobah, which has an unemployment rate of about 30 per cent.

"We have young people that move away in Waycobah, like rural Cape Breton, and the time has come to change the way this province is run so that we can start down a road where that doesn't have to happen," said Baillie. "For me, that means getting the cost of government down and returning money to taxpayers by lowering the HST, taking the tax off our small businesses who are true job creators, and making it a level and even playing field for everybody that works for Waycobah, that works for rural Cape Breton, and then to make sure we invest in important areas like training, so that young people are trained for the real jobs of tomorrow and not the jobs of yesterday."

Baillie will visit Layton's Lumber Ltd. in Sydney Mines today at 9:30 a.m. where he will discuss his party's plan to lower the HST, which he says will lead to further job creation.

He will then campaign in North Sydney with PC candidate and Cape Breton North incumbent Eddie Orrell, before moving on to Sydney River where he will join PC candidate and Cape Breton West incumbent Alfie MacLeod.

Organizations: Waycobah band Council

Geographic location: Cape Breton, 150 Reservation Rd., Whycocomagh

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Recent comments

  • anon
    September 18, 2013 - 09:24

    we can do this in the election!

  • Caper Ft Mac
    September 18, 2013 - 08:01

    Imagine this, being able to work in your own back yard making money and putting food on your table without having to leave your family. Seems like a good idea eh b'y? Well if we don't allow fracking to happen this will never happen.

    • Steve
      September 18, 2013 - 10:04

      A lot of people are already working here in Cape Breton -- in industries and businesses that don't poison the water we drink and the air we breathe. You're dreaming if you think the oil and gas extraction industry is something that would benefit the people of this island.

  • fred
    September 18, 2013 - 06:17

    He should cut the size of his MLA,s in half

  • caper
    September 18, 2013 - 04:42

    there is one thing to remember,, all the promises the libs and tories are making ,is all bull, when either party was in power , they had the power to come thru, with every promise they are now making,,

  • joseph sampson
    September 17, 2013 - 22:34

    This guy can promise all he wants to. He won't keep a single one, especially since the next provincial government will be a LIBERAL government!!

    • frank
      September 18, 2013 - 07:12

      Sampson,get off your soap box,there are too many Liberals on this island now,that is why we are in this mess. Under the Savage government we had 7 cabinet ministers here and what did they do for us, ZILCH.

  • chief wiggam
    September 17, 2013 - 12:02

    i would like to say this... he dropped a marble if he think taking a tax off of gas. the only ones smiling will be the gas companies, as they will just raise their price the amount the government drops their tax. they swallow up that money too.

  • dmac
    September 17, 2013 - 10:00

    I like Baillie's idea to get rid of the small business tax because small business creates most of the jobs and by removing the tax it should make it easier for small business to turn a profit and create more jobs. Right now taxes are so high in NS that it is a disincentive to create jobs. Getting rid of this tax will go along way in helping small business thrive and prosper and create jobs.

    • confuzed
      September 17, 2013 - 13:52

      Removal of small business tax will not create jobs. It will only make small business owners richer. Small business, in itself, does not create jobs. Disposable income spent in small business is what creates jobs. Want to create jobs? Remove some taxes from the general population and there will be more disposable income.

    • Dmacv
      September 18, 2013 - 09:43

      Clearly you didn't study tax policy and economics in university because you wouldn't have made such a ridiculous statement if you had.