Ban fracking, says Yukon NDP

The Yukon NDP wants the Yukon government to ban fracking in the territory until it is shown to be safe.

Energy critic says method should not be used until found safe

The Yukon New Democratic Party wants the Yukon government to ban fracking in the territory until it is shown to be safe.

Fracking is a technique used in the oil and gas industry to get at fossil fuels trapped in rock formations. Critics say the process can contaminate ground water.

While fracking is allowed under current Yukon regulations, there are no plans for it to happen yet.

The NDP, which is the official opposition in Yukon, is calling on the government to ban the process before it is used in the territory.

Jim Tredger, the NDP energy critic, says fracking has enormous negative health and environment consequences.

The Yukon NDP's Jim Tredger wants the territorial government to ban fracking until it has been proven to be safe. (CBC)

"In other jurisdictions, drinking water, water tables and whole watersheds have been contaminated with toxins and carcinogens. There have been, as yet, no public discussions or any efforts to honestly and accurately describe this non-conventional form of extraction to Yukoners," said Tredger.

Yukon Energy and Mines Minister Brad Cathers says the government is reviewing the procedure.

"This area is something on which the Yukon officials within the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources have been active, and are currently active, in working with other Canadian and American jurisdictions reviewing matters pertaining to all practices with oil and gas.," said Cathers.

"Additional regulation, particularly for the development of natural gas, is something that needs to be proceeded with so that the Yukon can manage both those resources and, in fact, even the storage and transport of natural gas from other jurisdictions," he added.

Fracking concerns have arisen in many parts of North America, including the neighbouring Northwest Territories.