Feminist Lunch Series: Heather Millar on Fracking Uncertainty: The Politics of Risk in Canadian provincial hydraulic fracturing regulation


Hosted by The University Women’s Centre

Feminist Lunch Series: Heather Millar

Online Event

Please mark your calendars for the second talk of our virtual Fall 2020 Feminist Lunch Series in the Faculty of Arts to be given on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 12:00pm via Teams by Heather Millar (Political Science at UNB).

The talk is titled: “Fracking Uncertainty: The Politics of Risk in Canadian provincial hydraulic fracturing regulation”.

Fracking is a controversial method for accessing oil and gas deposits which has prompted various regulatory responses. Dr. Millar’s work explores variation in regulation in four Canadian provinces, drawing on policy analysis, discourse analysis of news articles, and interviews. Socially constructed narratives about risk shape where regulatory design takes place and who participates in the process. “Complex” risk narratives reinforced the role of (predominantly male) industry experts and government scientists, closing off public access to the policy process, while “uncertain” risk narratives legitimized the participation of environmental activists, members of Indigenous communities, and rural residents. This talk will explore how anti-fracking activists NS and NB – led in part by a coalition of women (self-dubbed the “league of ladies”)– were able to shift public discourse regarding the environmental harms of fracking, leading to moratoria and a legislated ban.

New to UNB in Political Science, Dr. Millar is a political scientist specializing in Canadian public policy. Her research interests include provincial energy and climate politics; risk perception; policy learning and feedback; and social acceptance of new technologies. She holds a PhD in Political Science, an MA of Public Policy and a BA in English & Women’s Studies. Previously she worked in the Canadian non-profit sector in a variety of policy areas including housing, food security, and international development. Her current book project explores the politics of provincial hydraulic fracturing regulation in Canada.

To register, click on the invite link below or email dgrant@unb.ca.

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All are welcome…please have your lunch with us!

Our virtual Feminist Lunch Series series will resume in the Winter 2021 term. See you then!

The Feminist Lunch Series is organized by the UNB Gender & Women’s Studies Program, the UNB/STU University Women’s Centre and the Office of the UNB Dean of Arts. Special thanks to Daniel Grant for technical help. For more information on the series, contact Sophie Lavoie (lavoie@unb.ca)

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