NB Energy Minister, Craig Leonard makes false assumptions on the Cleary shale gas report

By André Faust

Energy Minister Hon, Craig Leonard appears to have missed the point in regards to Dr. Eilish Cleary New Brunswick Depart of Health Chief Medical Officer of Health in his interpretation of the Cleary Report on shale gas development in the province.

On Nov 28th, 2012 the Government of New Brunswick ruled out a moratorium based the conclusion from both Dr. Louis LaPierre’s and Dr. Eilish Cleary’s reports. In his presentation to the house his Hon. Craig Leonard told the house.

“We also recently received reports by Dr. Louis LaPierre and Dr. Eilish Cleary that have identified issues other jurisdictions have faced with gas extraction from shale formations and how they can be mitigated.
Both reports came to the same conclusion – a moratorium on shale gas exploration was neither required nor desirable in New Brunswick as it would effectively limit the research and exploration required to learn more about the potential of the industry.”

hosted by Phil Vincent the minister was told that Dr. Cleary had not made any references to a moratorium in her report and that she has publicly stated that she is taking no position either for or against a moratorium on shale gas development… The answer that the minister gave is from a previous conference Dr. Cleary claimed that a moratorium is moot point, because more research is involved and that her report suggest more research so from that he assumed that it is not desirable to have a moratorium, because you want that research before acting.

Dr. Cleary held a public meeting at UNB to discuss her report, during question and answer Dr. Cleary was asked the following question.

“A few minutes ago, Mr. Leonard was asked to explain his statement that Dr. Cleary’s report comes to the conclusion that a moratorium was neither required nor desirable in New Brunswick.

Mr. Leonard answered that because Dr. Cleary stated in an interview that a moratorium is a ‘moot’ point, he assumes Dr. Cleary agrees that a moratorium is neither required nor desirable. What is your response to Mr. Leonard’s statement?”

Dr. Clear explicitly said What was quoted by the minister was not a conclusion in my report.

“Mr. Leonard’s comment was not accurate. What was quoted was not a conclusion expressed in my report. I purposefully did not take a stance for or against shale gas development but rather focused on what needs to be done to protect public health IF this industry is to proceed in New Brunswick….Any inferred comment on a moratorium was not the intention or the point of my report.“

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