Sierra Club Canada Foundation has learned that the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board will take the unprecedented step of issuing a new license 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 license in the Gulf, and has reached the maximum term set out in the Accords Act for holding an offshore exploration license.
“The Board's decision is devastating, but here we have an opportunity for elected officials to finally step up and protect the Gulf,” according to Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director of Sierra Club Canada Foundation. “In nine years, this company has not taken steps to complete the environmental assessment it was required to do. Now it is rewarded for its inaction by the offshore board. Clearly, the ball is now in the hands of elected leaders to protect the Gulf.”
The Board’s decision requires approval from the federal and provincial Ministers of Natural Resources. Each Minister has 30 days, until Jan. 14th, to indicate if they support the Board’s decision or will nix it.
"The federal government has committed to protect 5% of our oceans by 2017, and 10% by 2020. Protecting this key area from oil and gas development will take them a long way to acheiving this goal," adds Fizgerald "The Gulf of St. Lawrence is a globally significant ecosystem, home to the endangered blue whale, and Chiefs of indigenous communities around the Gulf have been calling for a moratorium on oil and gas since 2014."
“This does not stop here. The federal government has indicated it will expand marine protection and improve its relationship with indigenous people. The Gulf of St. Lawrence is a globally significant ecosystem, home to the endangered blue whale, and Chiefs of indigenous communities around the Gulf have been calling for a moratorium since 2014. The question we’ll be asking is: who amongst our leaders will take this opportunity to protect the Gulf?”
Save Our Gulf Page: Letters from Indigenous Leaders calling for Consultation, Protection of the Gulf: https://www.facebook.com/stlawrencealliance/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf
For more information, please contact
National Program Director