In response to the deafening silence from the federal and provincial Ministers of Natural Resources, Sierra Club Canada Foundation has lead one final effort to bring forward the concerns of Canadians, experts, and environmental groups. We have gathered the signatures of over 1400 groups and individuals calling for the rejection of the new Corridor Resources licence and a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
“Eminent individuals and experts such as former Environment Minister David Anderson, world renowned marine scientist Dr. Boris Worm, and Canadian icon Robert Bateman have added their name to our letter. We are also honoured to be supported by the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi and Chief Jean-Charles Piétacho, Council of the Innu of Ekuanitshit, on behalf of la Nation Innue ” according to National Program Director Gretchen Fitzgerald. “All this in less than 72 hours. ”
The Gulf of St. Lawrence is one of the world’s largest estuaries and home to the largest mammal to ever exist, the Blue Whale. Seismic blasting used in oil and gas exploration pose extreme risk to these and many other species. Oil spilled in the Gulf could affect the coastlines of five provinces, not to mention thousands of fisheries and tourism jobs.
In mid-December, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board issued a new licence for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Corridor Resources. In the last nine years, Corridor has been granted three free extensions on its licence in the Gulf, and has reached the maximum term set out in the Accords Act for holding an offshore exploration licence.
The Board’s decision requires approval from the federal and provincial Ministers of Natural Resources. Each Minister has now 1 day left of their 30 days, until Jan. 14th, to indicate if they will nix it. So far, there has been no public comment from the Ministers.
“We have a federal government that has committed to restoring our relationship with Indigenous peoples, expanding marine protection from 1.3 % to 5% this year and 10% by 2020.” according to Fitzgerald. “Our leaders must take this opportunity to veto this licence and start the process to restore and protect the Gulf.”
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National Program Director