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N.B. physicians group wants fracking banned

By Tara Clow May 9, 2024 | 11:50 AM

Letters have been sent to New Brunswick’s premier and all MLAs calling for a permanent ban on shale gas production.

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment is sounding the alarm on the associated health risks of fracking.

Letter to Premier and MLA’s in New Brunswick from Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

Recent comments by Premier Blaine Higgs promoting fracking as a better climate plan than carbon pricing prompted the call for the ban.

“Our health system is already under considerable strain. Why would we introduce a known industrial hazard that could harm New Brunswickers’ health?” says Dr. RenĂ©e Turcotte, a retired family doctor and chair of the New Brunswick chapter.

The group says a new medical study in the Canadian Journal of Public Health published in March reviewed 50 studies examining the health effects of fracking activity on residents in nearby communities.

The report confirms growing medical evidence that fracking can lead to serious adverse health outcomes, including birth defects, low birth weight, childhood cancers, asthma, heart disease, and a higher risk of mortality.

“We knew more than a decade ago that there were potential health risks associated with fracking for shale gas,” says Dr. Turcotte. “But now we have the data, and it’s very troubling.”