GNWT gauges public opinion with oil and gas survey

GNWT gauges public opinion with oil and gas survey
Tulita residents get a tour of MGM’s operations in the Sahtu in 2013.Photo: Jean Polfus.

One year into devolution, the GNWT is almost finished nailing down a strategy for increasing oil and gas resource development in the territory; only now, they want to hear what citizens have to say about the matter.

With the Oil and Gas Strategy set to launch in July, the department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) has released an online survey to gauge public opinion on the sector, the results of which will be incorporated into the final document.

The survey lists 11 questions about the industry, asking what elements people are aware of and what they wish to know more about. Some of the items on the list include drilling, hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” transportation of resources through pipelines versus other methods, offshore drilling, processing and refining, policy frameworks, socio-economic benefits and potential environmental impacts and management.

The survey also queries where citizens get their information on the sector and what, if anything, about the industry is concerning to them.
It also asks what the extent of the GNWT’s role in the evolving sector should be.

While the NWT has hosted oil and gas resource development initiatives for decades, the GNWT has stated it hopes to make sure residents better understand both the issues surrounding it and its potential benefits.

With the territory’s dependence on mining rates slowly declining, the GNWT has been busy promoting the development of oil and gas as an alternative means of diversifying and strengthening the territory’s economy to both national and international audiences.

“The NWT Oil and Gas Strategy will provide a plan to develop the territory’s vast petroleum resources in a safe and responsible manner while encouraging lasting economic growth and opportunities for the people of the NWT,” said ITI Minister David Ramsay. “To ensure the priorities of all communities are reflected, I encourage the public to provide their input and help us shape the future of the petroleum industry in this territory.”

To fill out the survey, head to The deadline for input is Apr. 30.

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