Over the summer, the Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia (CPONS) – a project of the South Shore chapter of the Council of Canadians – engaged with 18 coastal municipal councils in the southwestern region of Nova Scotia to propose they send letters to the province calling for a public inquiry into offshore drilling.
The Town of Shelburne was the first to pick up on this request and call for a public inquiry in a letter sent to the Premier on September 06th. Residents who reached out to Council were displeased with the lack of public input or consultation, especially the risks to the local economy (which depends predominantly on fisheries and tourism).
Town of Shelburne Mayor Karen Mattatal states simply “A public inquiry would allow for discussion of the impact of oil industry activity in this specific marine environment, allow for democratic involvement in the use of our waters, provide information to the public, and outline steps to protect one of our largest natural resources.”
Congratulations to Mayor Mattatal and all Councillors of the Town of Shelburne for sending this request, and residents who expressed concern about offshore drilling and its potential impacts to your elected representatives! It’s nice to see democracy in action.
In addition, CPONS has started presenting to municipal councils on the concerns with offshore drilling, calling on them to write a letter to the Premier in support of a public inquiry, including a moratorium on offshore drilling until the inquiry is complete and recommendations have been reviewed. Municipalities could play a leadership role in this way, in protecting their communities and local economies. CPONS members met with the Municipality of the District of Shelburne earlier this week and had some great discussion with Councillors, and will continue to meet with other Municipalities.