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Coastal tour highlights risks of BP’s plans to offshore drill Nova Scotia

Today kicks off the start of a 3 day, hard hitting coastal tour on the risks of offshore drilling Nova Scotia.


The Council of Canadians is coordinating this tour because Minister McKenna recently approved BP, yes the same company behind the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico 8 years ago, to drill up to 7 exploratory wells off the coast of Nova Scotia.


Here’s the kicker, they are planning to drilling up to twice the depth of the well involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, significantly increasing the risks of the project.  


The tour begins today with a not to be missed town hall in Halifax. The event will also be live streamed on the Council of Canadians facebook page.  Tonight’s talk will begin with Antonia Juhasz, investigative journalist, energy analyst and author of Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill. Antonia recently wrote in her oped featured in the Chronicle Herald:


“As Nova Scotia residents and elected officials review both BP’s plans and the Canadian government’s ability to regulate them, it may be helpful to consider the view from your closest U.S. neighbours, who, barely one month ago, expressed virulent opposition to just such drilling in their own waters….The Trump drilling proposal was immediately met with angry public protests at state capitals from California to South Carolina, and within a matter of weeks, Republican and Democratic attorneys general of 12 coastal states — including almost every single one of Nova Scotia’s closest American neighbours: Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina — wrote a scathing letter to the administration demanding withdrawal of the proposal and asserting firm opposition to oil and gas drilling off of their coasts.”


Why is Nova Scotia willing to take on the risks that their U.S. neighbours are rejecting? 


Antonia also rightly questions McKenna’s recent approval, “Within this context, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna’s rather bizarre statement that BP’s Nova Scotia drilling pro

ject “is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects,” is somewhat shocking. BP, for example, dares not make such a claim, writing only that “BP aims to manage and mitigate environmental impacts.”

Antonia will be joined by Colin Sproul, a fifth generation lobster fisherman and spokesperson for the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association who will address the threat drilling and a spill presents to good jobs in fisheries. 

Michelle Paul will also join our Halifax town hall. Michelle is a Mi’kmaq activist and treaty rights holder and has been involved with Idle No More, the Treaty Truckhouse and Alton Gas resistance. Michelle will speak to the importance of the land and the water to Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island.


The tour will head next to Shelburne and then Lunenburg this Thursday for town halls and a series of meetings. 


To take action, please sign our petition stating: We, the undersigned, call on Prime Minister Trudeau to stop BP from drilling up to seven exploratory wells and institute a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in offshore Nova Scotia. We further demand an end to proposed changes under Bill C-69 that would grant east coast petroleum boards more power in the environmental assessment process for Atlantic offshore drilling.