Judge rules Alberta can be sued over fracking allegations, province may appeal

A judge has ruled an Alberta woman who says her well is so contaminated with methane that the water can be set on fire can sue the province over hydraulic fracturing on her property.

ROSEBUD — A judge has ruled an Alberta woman who says her well is so contaminated with methane that the water can be set on fire can sue the province over hydraulic fracturing on her property.

Jessica Ernst filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Alberta Environment and energy company Encana (TSX:ECA) in 2007.

She alleges fracking on her land northeast of Calgary released hazardous amounts of chemicals into her well and that her concerns were not properly investigated.

The government asked the court to strike it from the lawsuit, arguing the province is immune from prosecutions under its environment and water legislation.

Chief Justice Neil Wittmann of Court of Queen’s Bench has dismissed the government’s application, and ordered the province pay Ernst legal costs at triple the regular rate.

The Justice Department is reviewing the judgment to determine if it will appeal.

Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping water, nitrogen, sand and chemicals at high pressure underground to fracture rock and allow natural gas or oil to flow through wells to the surface.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

Get your guilty pleasures: Westerner Days food

Traditional sugary treats were served up by the plate, bowl and bucket… Continue reading

Count shows slight decrease in Red Deer’s homeless

In two years, the number of homeless in Red Deer has decreased… Continue reading

Redoing hip surgeries are costly, says new study

Redoing hip and knee replacements costs Canada’s health system $130 million a… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer gets a taste of unique, fun chilis at cook off

From deer meat to Grand Marnier to raspberry jam everyone at the… Continue reading

WATCH: Cirque ZUMA ZUMA puts on a show at Westerner Days

ZUMA ZUMA performs three times a day during Westerner Days

Trump ready to hit all Chinese imports with tariffs

President Donald Trump has indicated that he’s willing to hit every product… Continue reading

Scathing suicide inquiry finds gaps, shortcomings at Royal Military College

OTTAWA — Members of a board of inquiry into three suicides at… Continue reading

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Premiers strike deal to allow increased flow of beer, alcohol across borders

ST. ANDREWS, N.B. — Canada’s premiers are set to wrap up their… Continue reading

Canada’s annual inflation rises 2.5% thanks to boost from higher energy prices

OTTAWA — The country’s annual inflation rate rose 2.5 per cent in… Continue reading

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

Trump tweets after boat sinks: ‘Such a tragedy’

BRANSON, Mo. — The Latest on a deadly tourist boat accident in… Continue reading

Jones’ punt return TD rallies Riders to road victory over Ticats

Roughriders 31 Tiger-Cats 20 HAMILTON — Brandon Bridge kept Dave Watford on… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month