Thousands of Yukoners sign anti-fracking petition

Opposition New Democrats say the petition, presented to the legislature Tuesday, has the names of more than 5,200 Yukoners against fracking.

A petition with more than 5,200 names of people opposed to hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - in Yukon was delivered to the legislative assembly Tuesday after a small rally outside.

A petition presented to the legislature earlier this year had 2,200 names on it.

Don Roberts, the chair of the group Yukoners Concerned about Oil and Gas Development, says it shows the level of opposition to fracking in the territory.

Some of the estimated 50 people taking part in the rally travelled from outside Whitehorse. 

Sara Newton, a lands officer for the Liard First Nation, says people in Watson Lake are opposed to fracking.

"If fracking goes forward, the moose, the caribou and the fish that now sustain that community and will sustain the people of that community, when the services and the economic system has failed so miserably, all of those things could be at risk," Newton says.

NDP leader Liz Hanson presented the petition to the legislature. It calls for the legislature to ask the government to ban the use of fracking.

The New Democrats are also asking the government to develop alternative energy sources like wind and solar.

Energy Minister Scott Kent says the government is committed to renewable energy, not only in the long term, but also more immediately with sources such as hydro.
"With the micro-generation program, with the independent power producers' policy, looking at other sources of renewable energy, that will help to supplement the Yukon's energy grid," Kent says.,

He adds that over 99 per cent of the energy produced now on Yukon's grid is renewable, most of it hydro-electric.