Jessica Ernst (pictured here) is on the road to becoming another unsung Canadian hero. The Harper government has appointed Honourable Justice Barbara L. Veldhuis, a Court of Queen Judge who has been presiding over the case Ernst vs Encan, to the Court of Appeal in Alberta, which means a decision is delayed, until another judge is appointed to this highprofile lawsuit.
The landmark lawsuit, alleges that "Encana, one of Canada's largest natural gas producers, drilled and fracked shallow coal bed methane wells directly in the local groundwater supply between 2001 and 2004 near Rosebud, Alberta and thereby polluted Jessica Ernst's water well with enough toxic chemicals and methane to make it flammable."
There is a lot riding on this precedent setting lawsuit. If Ernst wins then many other residents who have felt the effects of fracking on their water supply will follow suit. It could also establish a duty of care that companies would have to public resources such as water.
Harper and his oil pals, may be biding time, hoping that the additional cost to putting the case on hold will be too much for Ernst to continue. However Ernst, an oil patch consultant, is not deterred. "Most people would give up now. But I'm defending truth and the future of water in this province and I will not quit."
"I've been bullied. My constitutional rights have been violated. The regulator even banished me. I've had the RCMP on my doorstep. But I won't be intimidated by the abuse of power," says Ernst.
This is one of those cases of the people against the corporation....and their government.
Read Andrew Nikiforuk's Tyee article, Fracking: Feds Throw Wrench In High Profile Lawsuit
You can help!
Donations to assist Ernst in her court case can be made Online or by sending a cheque made out to:
“Klippensteins, in Trust for Jessica Ernst” to Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors, Suite 300, 160 John Street, Toronto ON, M5V 2E5.
People can donate to the Ernst case: http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/donate