In August 2013, the Nova Scotia Department of Energy commissioned the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at Cape Breton University to conduct an independent review and public engagement process to explore the social, economic, environmental, and health implications of hydraulic fracturing practices and their associated wastewater streams. Dr. David Wheeler, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cape Breton University,  convened and Chaired a Nova Scotia Expert Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing to oversee the process.

The Expert Panel released 10 discussion papers which provided the basis for chapters in the final report. As each paper was released there was a 2 to 3 week period for feedback and comment. To access any of the discussion papers released by the Expert Panel as well as presentation materials from the public meetings and process details, please visit the following links —

Hydraulic Fracturing Study

Nova Scotia Department of Energy Website – Hydraulic Fracturing Review

Verschuren Centre Submits Final Report on Hydraulic Fracturing to the Province of Nova Scotia

On August 28 Dr. David Wheeler, President of Cape Breton University, submitted the final report of the eleven person independent review panel on hydraulic fracturing to the Honourable Andrew Younger MLA, Minister of Energy.


Dr. David Wheeler

The process was overseen by the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment and took exactly one year.  It involved interactions with more than 1,200 stakeholders in public meetings and over 200 individuals and organizations who submitted evidence to the review and responded to discussion papers. Coverage of the 387 page report is very positive. A link to the full report together with TV, radio and editorial reactions to the review are provided below. The Government is expected to respond to the report before the end of September.

HF Final Report CoverDownload the Report:

Report of the Nova Scotia Independent Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing




Media Coverage:

Main Item in the CBC TV evening news

Studio ‘newsmaker’ interview with Tom Murphy for CBC TV

Interview with Don Connolly on CBC Information Morning Halifax

Interview with Steve Sutherland on CBC Information Morning Cape Breton

Interview with Jacques Poitras on CBC Information Morning Fredericton

Immediate Commentary:

Editorial 1 in the Chronicle Herald

Editorial 2 in the Chronicle Herald

Commentary from former Finance Minister Graham Steele

Immediate media and press reporting interpreting report as ‘not ready’, ‘press pause’ and/or calling for a continued moratorium:

Chronicle Herald – NS Not Ready for Fracking

CBC – NS Fracking Moratorium Should Continue Panel Recommends

Nova News Now – A Pause on Fracking in NS

Hants Journal – Press Pause on Fracking in NS

CB Post – Wheeler Report Recommends Continued Fracking Moratorium

Government response: Minister hopes to make decision on fracking within month:

Daily Business Buzz – Decision on Fracking in NS should come before end of September

680 News – NS Energy Minister hopes to make decision on Fracking within month

Calgary Herald – NS Energy Minister hopes to make decision on Fracking within month

NS Dept. of Energy News Release – Government of Prohibit Hydraulic Fracturing (Sept. 3, 2014)

Chronicle Herald Business – Nova Scotia to ban Fracking (Sept. 3, 2014)

Environmental response:
EAC ‘praises report’ and sees it as ‘really encouraging’; Fracking Awareness Group ‘welcomes report’

Daily Business Buzz – Ecology Action Centre calls Fracking report by Wheeler really encouraging

CTV News (Atlantic) – Ecology Action Centre praises new report, wants 10 more year of Fracking research 

The Telegram – Fracking Awareness Group Welcomes Wheeler Report

The Western Star – Fracking Awareness Group Welcomes Wheeler Report