Federal Government Needs to Establish Joint Review Panel on Oil and Gas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence
Halifax, NS - Sierra Club Canada applauds a recent request by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) for federal environmental assessment of oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
“The Gulf is bounded by five of the ten Canadian provinces, and supports a shared ecosystem that is home to endangered species like the magnificent blue whale,” says Gretchen Fitzgerald, Director of the Atlantic Canada Chapter of Sierra Club. “The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board has asked for the federal government to become involved because of appeals of groups and individuals from all around the Gulf. The only valid way to address these concerns is to create a review panel with representation from all provinces and Aboriginal leaders.”
The C-NLOPB's letter cites unprecedented public concern in the proposed exploratory drilling project at a site know as Old Harry as the reason for its request for engagement from federal Environment Minister Peter Kent. Old Harry is located in the middle of the Gulf, just 70 km from the Magdalen Islands, 80 from the West coast of Newfoundland, and 120 km from Cape Breton Island.
"The C-NLOPB deserves credit for recognizing they are out of their depth when it comes to assessment of oil and gas in the Gulf and we urge Minister Kent to show similar concern for the people and communities of this region," continues Fitzgerald. “A joint review panel is a first step to ensuring this unique and precious Canadian ecosystem is protected from a disaster like the BP oil spill.”
For more information, please contact Gretchen Fitzgerald at 902-444-3113 or firstname.lastname@example.org