Alliance Applauds Georges Bank Announcement and Calls for Comprehensive Revamp of Offshore Governance

For immediate release: April 27, 2022

Kjipuktuk / Halifax, NS - The Nova Scotia Offshore Alliance welcomes the extension of the Georges Bank oil and gas Moratorium.

“We are very pleased to hear that the moratorium has been extended but request that it be made permanent so that coastal communities and the fishing industry are not put through this process every ten years or so.” says John Davis, Director with the Clean Ocean Action Committee.

Alliance members applaud the provincial and federal government’s decision to extend the moratorium and hope it will be the last time.

“This will be the fourth time the Georges Bank Moratorium has been extended,”  says Marilyn Keddy, of the Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia “In this time of climate change, it’s the moment to make the prohibition permanent.”

The two levels of government first imposed a moratorium on drilling in 1980 after exploration licences were issued to oil companies. The fishing industry and coastal communities in SW Nova Scotia led the opposition.

The Georges Bank announcement comes a little over two weeks after federal and provincial governments announced they were changing the name of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Energy Board and that the primary focus of the newly named Board would be renewable energy.

The Alliance supported this shift but is calling on both levels of Government and Indigenous Governments to completely close the door on all drilling in Nova Scotian waters, not just Georges Bank.

“The IPCC and IEA are saying no new drilling, “ says Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director with SIerra Club Canada Foundation.  “That’s the scientific advice. Are we going to listen or not?”

The Alliance is also calling on the two levels of Government as they eye offshore wind, possibly paired with hydrogen, to prioritize a new relationship between this new industry and existing stakeholders like the fishing industry and conservation groups.

“Governments need to come up with new fairer governance structures for the offshore that reflect the concerns of coastal communities directly impacted by these regulators, “ says Marion Moore. If the Governments think they can just change a letter in the Offshore Board’s name and everything will be fine they are sadly mistaken. Let’s do this right.”

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