By Cheryl Norrad
Ryan Beek, above, worked for seven years in the fracking industry in Alberta. Now home working in NB, Beek welcomes shale gas in the province. (Photo: Cheryl Norrad)
FREDERICTON - A few weeks back at one of the anti-shale gas protests at the Centennial Building, twentysomething New Brunswicker Ryan Beek was across the street testing the gas lines under the new building going up across from the iconic government office on King Street. Beek was doing a bit of heckling at the anti-shale gas protesters so he was approached and asked why.
"There's nothing for the young generation here...people are starving because they've got no work...we've got to have something to put them to work," he said.
Beek spent seven years fracking wells for Nabors Production Services, a shale gas company in Alberta, without running into any drilling problems during that time.
"There was not one accident in seven years...there are strict rules to follow and there are lots of different styles of fracking with lots of different fracking materials not damaging to the environment," he said.
Beek said the shale gas industry in New Brunswick will bring people home from out west by providing work. He said people are tired of going elsewhere away from their families to find employment.
Comparing the shale gas industry being here to the Irving empire dominating the province, Beek said, "The shale gas companies are no worse than Irving. With it's mills and woodswork, Irving is destroying the rivers and wildlife...there is not enough monitoring of Irving," he said.
With the shale gas industry in the province, said Beek, young people can come home and work for a company that will pay better than Irving.
"The gas companies can compete on a wage level with Irving...people don't want to work for Irving because they don't pay enough, but they will work for gas companies because they pay a better wage," he said.
Beek added instead of one company controlling industry, Irving, other competitors should be brought in.
"Give the poor people a chance to work," he said.