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Conservatives Platform will see Drilling in St Lawrence

The Conservatives platform, released today, includes a commitment to tabling necessary legislation in Parliament to implement an Accord on Quebec’s Offshore resources.

What does this mean?

It means that the conditions are being laid for the pursuit of offshore drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Earlier this week Atlantic Council of Canadians chapter representatives issued a media release, united in their concerns about the proposal for offshore drilling in the St. Lawrence.

Why is there no transparency?” asked Leo Cheverie of PEI. “There should be serious concerns by all levels of government and the broader public with the potential impact on fisheries, tourism, and coastal communities.”

“There need to be hearings in all four Atlantic provinces, as well as Quebec,” said Bill Kavanagh of St. John’s, NL. “This will impact all of us, initially with our ecosystems, but any type of spill would have much wider consequences.”

Susan Jardine of Shediac, NB was very concerned with this possibility.  “Even GMO salmon wouldn’t be able to survive a spill in this sensitive ecosystem,” she said. “But seriously, we need to ask ourselves if it’s really worth the risk?”

The Council of Canadians has written the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board expressing its concern that Corridor Resources could be granted a permit to drill a deep water exploration well in the Laurentian Trench, north of the Magdalene Islands, and that only a screening level of environmental assessment is being planned.

As noted in a letter to the Board, the area in question, ‘Old Harry’ is a very productive, diverse and important marine environment that is already under great stress from marine shipping, decades of overfishing, land based pollution and now climate change. What we need to do is rehabilitate and conserve this Canadian treasure. What we do not need is petroleum development with its many environmental problems and huge potential for an accident like the one in the Gulf of Mexico.

Further, with greenhouse gas emissions on the rise and the need for deep emission cuts in the face of the climate crisis, political leaders must start choosing to leave fossil fuels in the ground. We need a transition to sustainable jobs, energy and environment.

Last November, the Council of Canadians joined the call from Save Our Seas and Shores, Attention Fragile (Magdalen Islands), Sierra Club Atlantic, and the Ecology Action Centre, for a moratorium on oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.