Atlantic premiers should be talking about the Gulf: environmental coalition

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A coalition of environment, tourism, fishing and indigenous groups wants the Atlantic premiers to work together to protect the Gulf of St. Lawrence at their meeting this week. 

Logo of Save Our Seas and Shores, a coalition formed to address offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition says it has peer reviewed science showing oil spilled in Gulf of St. Lawrence could affect other provinces around the Gulf.

“Newfoundland’s oil industry will have everything to gain from opening up the Gulf to oil – and other industries and provinces have everything to lose,” said coalition spokeswoman Mary Gorman.

“This is a precious, shared ecosystem. The premiers need to be talking about working together to protect it.”

The Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition has been calling for a moratorium on all oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in order to protect the gulf ecosystem and the livelihoods of those in fishing and tourism.

A Nova Scotia company, Corridor Resources Inc., is looking to develop a prospect called Old Harry in the Laurentian Channel in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

It is one of the largest undrilled prospects in Eastern Canada and is estimated to hold up to two billion barrels of recoverable oil or up to five trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas.

If regulatory approval is obtained, the proposed well should be drilled by the end of 2014, according to the company's website.

The coalition believes discussing the Gulf should be top of mind for the premiers in light of recent environmental assessment by Newfoundland’s offshore board giving a green light to oil and gas development off Newfoundland’s West Coast.

 “The science is clear that the Gulf is on the knife’s edge in terms of industrial development," said Dr. Irene Novaczek, science advisor to the P.E.I. chapter of the coalition.

“We know our premier is concerned and we hope he will bring these concerns to the table at these meetings.”

Gretchen Fitzgerald of the Sierra Club’s Atlantic chapter says her organization has been calling for a stop to oil and gas development in the Gulf for over a decade.

 “Dangerous oil development could go ahead by the end of this year. It’s about time it made it on the agenda when our premiers talk.”

All four Atlantic premiers are in Saint John, New Brunswick today for the annual Council of Atlantic Premiers meetings.

Organizations: Seas and Shores Coalition, Corridor Resources Inc., Laurentian Channel Sierra Club Council of Atlantic Premiers

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Eastern Canada West Coast P.E.I. Saint John New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • Elizabeth
    May 28, 2014 - 23:12

    Good luck with that defamation lawsuit Ms. Gorman. I hope you know a little more about environmental issues in the oil industry than you do about the law.

  • Cape Anguille
    May 26, 2014 - 18:23

    MARY GORMAN has a real hatred for Newfoundland and Labrador Mrs Gorman is a very hypocritical environmentalist. Her group is in league with Quebec's Sierra Club Group. In the meantime the Quebec Governmental has signed an Agreement with a consortium of companies to develop Oil and Gas fields on Anticosti Island which is in the middle of St. Lawrence Gulf, a stones throw from Western NL offshore zone. I don't see any evidence of Mrs. Gorman and her Sierra Club pals harassing the Quebec Government's oil developments on Anticosti Island. I will remind Mrs. Gorman that the NL province and CNLOPB(who has tremendous expertise in offshore oil drilling and development) has openly welcome a Halifax based Company to drill Old Harry Cape Anguille

    • mary gorman
      May 27, 2014 - 09:46

      Cape Anguille, Be careful who you call a hater. Those are words for a DEFAMATION lawsuit, which perhaps explains why you don't have the integrity or courage to add your name to your toxic comments. For the record, our coalition works very closely with QC on this issue of protecting the Gulf of St Lawrence and its highly sensitive spawning, nursery and migratory regions, which feed multi-billion dollar fishery and tourism industries in QC, NL, PEI, NB and NS including endangered right whale, blue whale, humpback whale, leatherback turtle, harlequin duck etc. Oh and by the way, if the offshore oil industry has been such a jobs provider for NL, why is almost half your province's work force out west when you've had an offshore oil industry for 20 yrs now? Finally, how often has your CNLOPB's 'tremendous expertise' said NO to the offshore oil industry? Instead, they hire AMEC, one of the largest oil and gas industry services providers in the world (according to their own website) to do the environmental assessments.

    • mary gorman
      May 27, 2014 - 09:46

      Cape Anguille, Be careful who you call a hater. Those are words for a DEFAMATION lawsuit, which perhaps explains why you don't have the integrity or courage to add your name to your toxic comments. For the record, our coalition works very closely with QC on this issue of protecting the Gulf of St Lawrence and its highly sensitive spawning, nursery and migratory regions, which feed multi-billion dollar fishery and tourism industries in QC, NL, PEI, NB and NS including endangered right whale, blue whale, humpback whale, leatherback turtle, harlequin duck etc. Oh and by the way, if the offshore oil industry has been such a jobs provider for NL, why is almost half your province's work force out west when you've had an offshore oil industry for 20 yrs now? Finally, how often has your CNLOPB's 'tremendous expertise' said NO to the offshore oil industry? Instead, they hire AMEC, one of the largest oil and gas industry services providers in the world (according to their own website) to do the environmental assessments.

  • Peter
    May 26, 2014 - 16:15

    To expect the Premiers to work together for something good, is, IMO, idiotic. I mean, let'sa face it .. they don't seem to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. All they seem to know how to do is waste money and feed their buddy's pockets (which in turn, feeds theirs). While I agree with mary Gorman, I also face reality.