Nova Scotia

Anti-fracking protesters gather in Halifax

About 100 people from across Nova Scotia gathered in Halifax's Grand Parade Saturday to protest against fracking, a controversial method of extracting gas from the ground.

West Lake Ainslie is site of exploratory well

About 100 people from across Nova Scotia gathered in Halifax's Grand Parade Saturday to protest against fracking, a controversial method of extracting gas from the ground.

It was part of No Fracking Way! Provincial Day of Action against hydraulic fracturing — known as fracking — organized by members of Occupy N.S. and other environmental groups.

Many people came from Lake Ainslie in Cape Breton to take part in the protest and to call on the federal government to impose regulations on the industry.

The provincial Environment Department has given Toronto-based PetroWorth Resources Inc. the go-ahead to drill a vertical 1,200 to 1,500-metre exploratory oil well at West Lake Ainslie.

The company does not have approval from the province for fracking, a process where water and chemicals are pumped into the ground to bring gas to the surface. But some groups fear it will eventually happen and contaminate the lake.

The protesters said they don't want that in their backyard, and they want the provincial government to reverse its decision to allow an exploratory well.

"Cape Breton Island is a pristine, amazing, magical place and we do not want, on any account, to see any of that jeopardized," Rebecca Parsons, of Lake Ainslie, said.

"Please, please listen to what we're saying up there and to let your MLAs know about this."

Adam MacDonald said the few jobs created aren't worth the risk to the environment.

"It's going to create a few jobs short-term, but I don't think that trading our air, our water, our way of life, is worth a few jobs," he said.

The Margaree Environmental Association has been fundraising to pay for a court challenge, where they will argue environmental protections are weak.