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NEWS: Review of Old Harry offshore drilling project put on hold

The Canadian Press reports, “A review of a proposal to drill in the Old Harry area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence has been put on hold. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board says it is delaying the review of the Old Harry site near the Iles-de-la-Madeleine.”

“The federal-provincial regulator says it is doing so after receiving a request from Corridor Resources Inc. to issue a prohibition order. The board says such an order can be made in the case of an environmental or social problem of a serious nature. A spokesman for the board says he could not elaborate, and Corridor officials were not immediately available for comment. The Halifax-based company’s plans for Old Harry have angered environmental groups who say drilling should not be allowed in a sensitive marine area.”

The Council of Canadians
On March 28, 2011, Council of Canadians vice-chairperson Leo Broderick wrote the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board expressing our 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. Broderick wrote, “The Council of Canadians is requesting that you stop this project. We ask that you declare a moratorium on oil drilling inside the Gulf. And we also ask that you initiate a strategic environmental assessment with a full panel review and a regional public consultation process (i.e. public consultation meetings in all affected provinces).” Broderick’s letter can be read at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=7205.

Additionally, on November 17, 2010, 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.

And on April 7, 2011, we issued a media release stating, “Atlantic Council of Canadians chapter delegates, at a meeting the past weekend in Tatamagouche, united in concern with the proposed drilling in the ‘Old Harry’ area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The clear lack of public consultation and information void around the proposed drilling has created more questions than answers.”