Calgary

Kaiser Exploration drilling plan scrapped

Kaiser Exploration has scrapped plans to drill behind a Calgary shopping plaza after the community rallied against the project. However, drilling will still happen in a different location.

Company has new plan to drill on Lafarge industrial site instead of behind local shopping plaza

Residents in a Calgary community are celebrating after Kaiser Energy scrapped its plans for an urban drill site near their homes. 2:11

Kaiser Exploration has scrapped plans to drill behind a Calgary shopping plaza after the community rallied against the project.

The province approved Kaiser's plan to drill 100 metres behind the Royal Oak Shopping Plaza. However, local residents and business owners fought the proposal for more than a year and a half, resulting in Kaiser voluntarily postponing the work. Now, the original plan has officially been scrapped and residents are celebrating.

"Our neighbourhood is currently in a weekend of celebration," said Ward Sutherland, former president of the Rocky Ridge Royal Oak Community Association. "This is a really good win, it shows the power of the people. Also, it shows some government people were listening and made a change."

The community protests also prompted a province-wide review of urban drilling policy as a whole, which is ongoing.

It is not known when the review will be completed.

However, residents say they are looking at one victory at a time.

"Safety was number one," said Greg Britton, a Rocky Ridge resident. "That was our main concern — what did it mean to our family?"

Kaiser is now working on a new plan to drill at a site two kilometres away on the Lafarge industrial site. As part of the new plan, Kaiser will now have to complete an assessment of how their operations will affect area traffic.

The company expects to start drilling by 2015.