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First Nations come together to speak with one voice, for one ecosystem

Earlier this week Angela and I were able to attend a media conference and voice our support for the Innu-Malecite-Mi’gmaq Alliance for the Protection of the Gulf of St. Lawrence’s call for a 12-year moratorium. The Alliance has asked for an integrated environmental assessment to take place before drilling is allowed. Leaders of these nations brought forward the point that little is known about the possible effects of oil and gas projects within the Gulf’s unique and fragile ecosystem. “The Gulf is a highly productive body of water and the diversity is very rich. No one can tell what effect a blowout like that of the Deepwater Horizon accident can have on the food chain,” said Chief Claude Jeanotte of the Mi’kmaq community of Gespeg in Quebec.

The Alliance has stated that there must be meaningful consultation, to respect their constitutionally protected treaty rights to the land and resources. Jeannotte said the group is preparing legal action if the federal and provincial governments don’t heed their requests.

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) is conducting an environmental assessment of an exploration well proposed at Old Harry, located only 80km away from Quebec’s Magdalen Islands. During the media conference on July 16th, three Aboriginal fishing vessels from Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula arrived at the site of Old Harry to leave a buoy, to signify the rights they have to the land, resources and consolation.

More information available in the recent St. Lawrence Coalition report Gulf 101 – Oil in the Gulf of St. Lawrence: Facts, Myths and Future Outlook.

Take action! You can voice your concerns to the federal and provincial governments using the letter template created by Sierra Club Canada.