K'JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - The Ecology Action Centre, Sierra Club Atlantic Canada, and Council of Canadians express their solidarity with Pictou Landing First Nation and neighbouring communities in their fight to defend and clean up their home waters.
“The ongoing pollution and contamination of a once pristine coastal estuary and beach is a disgrace. It is absolutely the responsibility of the province of Nova Scotia to clean up this site once and for all” says Angela Giles, Council of Canadians.
Scientists studying the blue whale in the Gulf of St Lawrence are reporting alarmingly low calving rates from this critically endangered species, says the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. The Sierra Club recently launched a campaign to safeguard the blue whale's critical habitat in the Gulf.
The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) is a non-profit research organization located on the Gulf of St Lawrence's northern shore and they were the first group to begin long term study of marine mammals in the Gulf. Since their founding in 1979, this group has followed blue whale populations in eastern Canada, the Sea of Cortez and in the waters of Iceland.
"The Atlantic Salmon and the blue whales are both very precious creatures to our nations," said Chief Claude Jeannotte of Gespeg, Quebec. He spoke in Halifax on behalf of these two struggling species Wednesday, July 16.
Jeannotte was accompanied by four other First Nations chiefs from across Atlantic Canada, all from communities dependent on the, "rich bounty of the Gulf," in the words of Chief P.J Prosper, representing the Migmaq of Nova Scotia. Together they spoke against exploratory drilling at the Old Harry Prospect, located in the Gulf of St Lawrence 80 km off Newfoundland's west coast and 460 metres underwater.
The Old Harry prospect is expected to be drilled in 2015 or 2016, according to the oil and gas company Corridor Resources which presently holds an exploratory license in the region.
The Sierra Club Canada Foundation and Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition (SOSS) are offering their support for the Innu, Maliseet, and Mi’gmaq First Nations of Eastern Canada in their call for a moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
As with many oil and gas projects across the country, what we are seeing here is a government willing to run roughshod over rights of indigenous peoples to get to fossil fuels,” according to John Bennett, National Programs Director of Sierra Club.
“We are proud to stand in solidarity with the Innu, Maliseet, and Mi’gmaq First Nations in calling for a moratorium on oil and gas in the Gulf.”
On June 6th, 2014, Sierra Club Canada Foundation was presented with a $60,000 grant from the RBC Royal Bank Blue Water Leadership Grant. SCCF is proud to partner with the Town of Ajax and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in a project to construct bioswales along the Ajax waterfront. The native wetland plants of these bioswales will capture and filter the untreated stormwater before discharging into Lake Ontario. This grant will also contribute towards a community awareness program.
SIERRA CLUB URGES PASSAGE OF THE GREAT LAKES PROTECTION ACT
Sierra Club Ontario wishes to congratulate the Government of Ontario for proposing the Great Lakes Protection Act (GLPA). The recent Second Reading passage of the GLPA provides encouragement that the long delayed Act may become law. For this to occur, support will be necessary. As well, time and political agendas come into play as a provincial election is likely in the spring. The immediate business at hand is the committee process leading to Third Reading and the opportunity to strengthen the GLPA to ensure the prioritization of commitments needed to achieve the goal of a Great Lakes that are sustainable with healthy ecosystems.
Sierra Club Ontario supports a GLPA that clearly addresses the priority issues that must dealt with by Ontario and other Great Lakes Governments to achieve the realization of the above goal. These issues include: