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ThebestlittlenewspaperinCanadaFortSmithmanreceiveshighmedicalhonourPaulCurriehasbeenawardedtheVenerableOrderofSt.Johnoneofthehighesthon-oursgivenforalifetimeofmedicalservices.Seepage2.EconomicboostsdriveYellowknifehousingboomAnticipatedeconomicgrowthinthecityissparkingtheriseofmorecabinshousesandcondominiumprojects.Seepage15.DoomintheArcticBleakreportsmarkCanadasrstdaysasArcticCouncilchair.Seepage8.TuesdayMay212013Vol.37No.3AnindependentnewspaperservingNorthernAlbertaandtheNorthwestTerritoriessince19772011nationalawardwinner-BestAll-RoundNewspaper1.00FortSmithboardopposesSlavehydrodevelopmentTheFortSmithRecreationAdvisoryBoardpresentedadeclarationtocounciltoprotecttheSlaveRiverrap-idsfromindustry.Seepage7.IndigenousgroupscallforArcticoilmoratoriumOver40indigenousgroupssignedadeclarationlastweekdemandingamoratoriumonArcticoildevelopmentwith-outtheirconsent.Seepage3.1Visitwww.norj.caKathleenGon18ofGametigivesthecrimperagoduringaplumbingworkshopatthethirdannualyouthsymposiumatAuroraCollegesThebachacampusinFortSmithlastweek.Over70highschoolstudentsfrom16communitiesfromacrosstheNWTtookpart.Seepages10-11formore.PhotoReneFrancoeur-ByJACKDANYLCHUKAnapplicationbyCono-coPhillipstodrilltwohorizon-talwellsandconducthydraulicfracturingintheCanolshalenearNormanWellshasbeenputonhold.Insteadofsendingtheap-plicationtoenvironmentalas-sessmenttheSahtuLandandWaterBoardSLWBissueddrafttermsandconditionsandaskedtheNationalEnergyBoardforclaricationofareasunderitsjurisdiction.ThepublichasuntilJune3tocomment.Adecisionwillfol-lowsometimelateronwhethertheapplicationwillgotoafullenvironmentalrevieworCon-ocoPhillipswillbeallowedtodrillnextwinter.ItsgoodnewsDavidRamsaysaid.TheministerofIndustryTourismandInvest-mentinterpretstheboardsde-cisiontopausetheprocessasasignthattherewontbeanenvi-ronmentalreviewoftheproject.ConocoPhillipsdeclinedcommentbutEricHansonthecompanysexplorationsupervisorintheMackenzieValleysaidearlierthathedidnotthinkthattheexplorationstageistheappropriatetimeforanenvironmentalreviewthatcouldtake18to36monthstocomplete.Werespecttheregulatoryprocessthatisunderwayandconsequentlywillnotbecom-mentingonourapplicationuntiladecisionhasbeenmadethecompanyissuedinastatementonFriday.HansonsremarksechoedthoseofJohnHoggvice-presidentofexplorationforMGMEnergywhichwithdrewasimilarapplicationlastOc-toberwhentheboardreferredittotheMackenzieValleyEn-vironmentalImpactReviewBoardMVEIRB.TheSLWBcitedcommu-nityconcernabouthorizontaldrillingandhydraulicfrac-turingasthemainreasonforthereviewandnotedthattheMGMwellswouldbetherstapplicationofthecontroversialtechniquesintheNorthwestTerritories.Thefrackingprocesspumpslargequantitiesoffreshwatermixedwithchemicalsintotheundergroundshalebedtoex-tractoilcausingworriesofpollutedgroundwater.WeweretheleadcaribouHoggtoldTheJournalbutaddingthatifConocoPhillipsapplicationwasnotsenttoen-vironmentalreviewMGMwouldnotaskforapassaswell.Nowellstartoverwithcommunityconsultations.ConocoPhillipshasrefusedtosaywhatcourseitwilltakeiftheapplicationisreferredtotheMVEIRB.Thecompanyinvestedheavilyincommunitymeetingswhereitexplaineditsprojectandthedrillingtechnology.Itseffortswererewardedwithnumerouslettersofsup-port.Mostofthewritersex-pressedconcerntotheSLWBforapossibleeconomicdown-turnifanenvironmentalreviewwasordered.ConocoPhillipsholdstherightstoexplorean87000-hect-areparceloflandknownasEL470whichitboughtfor66.7millionduringthefederalgovernments2010-2011landsaleforthecentralMacken-zieValley.HuskytheothermajorplayerintheCanolshaledepositwhichisthoughttoholdasmuchasthreebillionbarrelsofoilcompletedtwoverticalwellsbuiltanairstripand20kmofroadoverthepasttwoseasons.Itwilldrilltwomoreverticalwellsbeforeapplyingtodrillhorizontalwells.Deneleaderspassedareso-lutiontobanfrackingintheNWTinlate2011.Therearecurrentlymorato-riumsonfrackinginQuebecandNovaScotiaaswellasinFranceandVermont.WithfilesfromReneFrancoeurSahtuboarddelaysfrackingdecisionNoenvironmentalassessmentforConocoPhillipsatthistime