Above, Doaktown town councillor, Wayne Fowler. (Photo: Village website)
The Purple Violet Press has obtained a copy of a letter written by Doaktown town councillor Wayne Fowler to SWN, welcoming the company's shale gas exploration work in the area and any potential employment that may come with it.
Fowler, a member of the town's planning advisory committee, made no mention in the letter on whether the council consulted the local population for it's opinion. However, locals who spoke to this publication say they weren't asked. It has also been learned Fowler didn't consult with the rest of the members of the planning advisory committee, but unilaterally sent the letter.
Local community groups also say they weren't contacted by Fowler, nor was the local shale gas chapter, New Brunswickers Against Fracking (NBAF). It was only after becoming aware of the letter in June that NBAF approached Fowler to meet with him. The group stated it's objection to the letter's contents, but Fowler ignored their concerns.
The group gave a presentation to the Doaktown council on the shale gas issue in July, however, officials remained unmoved. Mayor Charles Stewart claimed he knew nothing about the issue and asked no questions.
Above, Doaktown Mayor Charles Stewart. (Photo: Village website)
Mary Delavalette, a founding member of NBAF who met with Fowler and council said of the situation: "It's a very sad state of affairs when a village council makes a decision with such potentially devastating effects on its community without due consultation and research. This is democracy?"