Erika Thorkelson

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As a freelance writer, Erika Thorkelson is dedicated to showcasing compelling stories that illuminate our world and how we live. Having lived in Dublin, Ireland and Miyagi Prefecture, Japan (as well as Winnipeg and Edmonton) she is able to bring an international perspective to local issues. Her essays, features and profiles have appeared in This Magazine, The New Quarterly, Herizon’s Magazine, the Edmonton Journal, and the Walrus. A regular contributor of arts and culture writing to the Vancouver Sun, she holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. She is the host of the Canadian Fiction Podcast, a series that showcases the work of new and emerging authors.

Fracking Data Woefully Lacking in Canada, Finds Federal Report

Fracking BC

There is simply not enough reliable information to be confident about the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing, according to a new report released by the Council of Canadian Academies.

The report, commissioned by Environment Canada, takes a broad view of the implications of “fracking,” from possible contamination of land and water to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to human health and social impacts. It identified several key areas of concern, particularly that pathways created by leakage of natural gas from “improperly formed, damaged or deteriorated cement seals” may contaminate ground water and increase GHG emissions.

Port City Secures Six-Month Moratorium on OilSands Exports

South Portland, home to the Portland Montreal Pipe Line

The city of South Portland, Maine banned the export of oilsands crude from local port facilities this week. 

Portland, the suburban community of 25,000 is the Atlantic terminal of the Portland Montreal Pipe Line, which currently carries millions of barrels of oil from the coast to refineries in Montreal. The city council is currently seeking to draft a law that would ban Portland Pipe Line Corp. from using Portland facilities to move western crude to the eastern seaboard. 

We applaud the City Council for their strong leadership in standing up to the oil industry,” said Roberta Zuckerman of Protect South Portland, a citizens group, told the Financial Post. “But now the City Council must turn the temporary ban on shipping tar sands out of our city into permanent legal protections.”