A media release from the Offshore Alliance went out this morning to outline why they decided not to engage in a public relations meeting with the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB), calling the consultation 'a sham.'
The Offshore Alliance, of which the Council of Canadians is a member, argues this proposed meeting would have allowed the CNSOPB to claim they've consulted with stakeholders to discuss the proposed offshore exploration by BP, who are currently awaiting approvals from the Board. Given the concerns many organizations who form the Offshore Alliance share, it was decided to give regrets to the CNSOPB's Communications Director Stacey O'Rourke, the point person for the meeting.
Many within the Offshore Alliance were prepared to participate in a meeting if the CNSOPB had offered a full and true consultation with hearings, recorded statements, etc. and responded to first invite with suggestions of what that would mean. But after receiving an the agenda for the 90-minute meeting outlining a 45 minute 'sharing circle', groups were unanimous in the decision to not attend.
Groups involved with the Offshore Alliance are also partners with the Offshore tour in Nova Scotia coming up soon to mobilize communities to stop BP from drilling off our coast. The Alliance also held a media conference recently to highlight concerns over then-proposed changes to the oversight of environmental assessments at a Federal level. Bill C-69, tabled last month, appears to shift power to the CPONS and other regulatory boards (the National Energy Board and the Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board).