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Groups say N.B. moratorium should only last 6 months

Penobsquis, N.B. Laura Brown/Global News

FREDERICTON – Groups representing hundreds of New Brunswick businesses and workers are speaking out about the province’s fracking moratorium.

Fredericton’s Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association say a prolonged moratorium will mean lost jobs and investments.

“There’s 40,000 people, in New Brunswick, today, that are unemployed,” said Joel Richardson, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters’ regional VP.

“We don’t need ten more people unemployed. We don’t need 15 more people unemployed. There’s 20,000 people a year, mostly young people, that are in the trades who are working out west and working in the oil and gas industry. Right now. That’s a substantial amount of our young people that are leaving this province to work in the same industry that we’re trying to develop.”

Richardson said there’s no reason for this moratorium to last more than six months.

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“Corridor Resources has had an extremely safe track record in the province,” he said. “I think that it is very true that Corridor has achieved a social license in the Sussex and Penobsquis area.”

Krista Ross of Fredericton’s Chamber of Commerce says the industry has economic potential in the province and as such, every attempt should be made to develop it.

She says some of the conditions are difficult to define, like the social license.

“I think it would be impossible in any climate to find any issue that the whole population is in support of or against. So to suggest that you need a social license and our understanding is that the whole society has to support this concept I think that’s going to be impossible.”

The groups are hoping to bring up their concerns with the province in the New Year.

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