To the federal and provincial governments who have the jurisdiction over this issue, we submit this letter - signed by over 1400 people in under 72 hours. It is time to stand up for the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the people who border it's waters, and the thousands of species who call it home.
See Media Release
To: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
Minister Jim Carr - Natural Resources,
Minister Dominic LeBlanc - Fisheries and Oceans and The Canadian Coast Guard,
Minister Catherine McKenna - Environment and Climate Change,
Minister Siobhan Coady - Natural Resources - Newfoundland and Labrador,
& Scott Tessier, Chair & CEO of the CNLOPB
On December 15th, 2016, in spite of receiving thousands of letters of concern from Canadians, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) announced its decision to grant a new licence to Corridor Resources in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The federal and provincial governments had thirty days, up until January 14th, to veto the C-NLOPB’s wrong-headed decision. We are now in the final week.
Corridor Resources has already gotten three free extensions on its licence in the Gulf. The Atlantic Accord Act only allows a company to hold onto a licence for up to nine years. Issuing a new licence to Corridor Resources is contrary to Canada's obligation to respect the rights of Indigenous peoples, to the intent of the Accords Act, and to Canada’s commitment to expand protection of Canada's ocean spaces.
Corridor’s time is up.
Scientists have recommended the Gulf of St. Lawrence remain off limits to oil and gas development because it is a highly productive, diverse, semi-enclosed sea home to thousands of species. The Old Harry being issued to Corridor is for work to be carried out in the migratory pathway path of the endangered blue whale.
In 2014, Chiefs of Innu, Maliseet and Mi'kmaq communities bordering the Gulf called for a 12-year moratorium on oil and gas development in the area. Their repeated calls to have their traditional territory in the Gulf acknowledged, as well as their right to consultation, have been ignored.
The counter-clockwise currents in the Gulf could carry oil spilled there to the coasts of five of Canada's ten provinces. Seismic blasting and pollution from oil and gas development threaten thousands of jobs and multi-billion dollar tourism and fishing industries.
As far back as 2001, the all-party House of Commons Committee on Fisheries and Oceans recommended a full environmental assessment occur before oil and gas proceeds in the Gulf. This has never taken place. The Committee reaffirmed that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is responsible for expanding marine protection, protecting endangered marine life, and integrated ocean management. This responsibility is being undermined.
We are committed to working together to ensure the protection of the Gulf of St. Lawrence from oil and gas exploration and development, and to ensuring no further damage is done.
We are calling on the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador to act immediately act to veto the licence issued to Corridor by the C-NLOPB.
Sierra Club Foundation of Canada
Chief Jean-Charles Piétacho, Council of the Innu of Ekuanitshit, on behalf of la Nation Innue
Sylvain Archambault, St. Lawrence Coalition
Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island
Ecology Action Centre
Robert Bateman, naturalist & painter
The Hon David Anderson, P.C., O.C., Victoria, B.C.
Bradley B. Walters, PhD, Professor of Geography, Mount Allison University, Sackville, N.B.
Troy Jerome, Mi'gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat
Responsible Energy Action, Antigonish NS
Dr. Boris Worm
Dr Irene Novaczek, Marine ecologist
Dr. Lindy Weilgart
Save Our Seas and Shores
Council of Canadians
Margaree Environmental Association
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
CUPE – PEI
Verner Smitheram, Chair of the Friends of Covehead and Brackley Bays Watershed Association.
The Cornwall and Area Watershed Group Inc.
PEI Chapter of the Council of Canadians
South Shore Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia (CPONS)
SOSS – PEI Chapter
Gros Morne Co-operating Association
Canadian Sea Turtle Network
Catherine Russell, The Coalition for Protection of PEI Water
The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance
Sharon Murphy, PEACE-NB
Saint John Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Paul N. Belliveau, Board Chair, Sentinelle Petitcodiac Riverkeeper
Conservation Council of New Brunswick
Penniac Anti-Shale-Gas Organization
Moncton Chapter of the Council of Canadians
New Brunswickers Against Fracking
Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians
& the following individuals (see pdfs)