Fracking decision dismissed as political

ROGER TAYLOR BUSINESS COLUMNIST   r taylor@herald.ca @CH-RogerTaylor The McNeil government’s quick decision to ban hydraulic fractur­ing of onshore shale gas in Nova Scotia has at least one expert writing it off as a political de­cision . The ban Energy Minister An­drew Younger announced Wed­nesday surprised Graham Gagnon, a member of the Nova Scotia Independent Review Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing, headed by Cape Breton University presid­ent David Wheeler. A drinking water expert and Dalhousie University professor, Gagnon wrote one of the chapters in the panel’s final report and contributed more broadly to all its recommendations. He told me Thursday he was…

Fracking ban gets mixed reaction

Lake Ainslie group awaits legislation MARY ELLEN MacINTYRE STAFF REPORTER   mmacintyre@herald.ca @CH_MEMacIntyre Fracking opponents say the province’s ban on the hydraulic fracturing process is welcome news, but they’re not dancing in the streets just yet. “I’m looking forward to seeing the legislation around this, cer­tainly, but the regulations around conventional drilling are anti­quated in the first place,” said Neal Livingston, co-chairman of the Margaree Environmental Association. Based in Lake Ainslie, In­verness County, the association was one of the leading opponents of any plan for hydraulic fractur­ing in the province. The process for extracting shale gas from deep beneath the earth…

Central bank holds line on key interest rate

STEVE RENNIE THE CANADIAN PRESS  O T TAWA — The cost of lines of credit and variable-rate mortgages are not expected to change any time soon as the Bank of Canada held its key interest rate steady at one per cent on Wednesday. In a largely status-quo state­ment, the central bank indicated it does not foresee enough of a change in Canada’s economic fortunes to adjust the rate from the same level it has held for the last four years. “Overall, the risks to the out­look for inflation remain roughly balanced, while the risks associ­ated with household imbalances have not diminished,”…

Patrol ship deal in sight 

Contract expected in Januar y; Halifax Shipyard staff may eventually reach 2,000 PATRICIA BROOKS ARENBURG BUSINESS REPORTER  pbrooks@herald.ca @CH_PBA The president of Irving Ship­building Inc. says he expects to have a contract to build Canada’s Arctic offshore patrol ships signed in January. “We’ve been working through the summer on . . . all the details with the government,” Kevin McCoy told reporters at the Hali­fax Shipyard on Wednesday. “We expect to sign that con­tract on 15 January with the gov­ernment.”