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.
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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.
‚ÄúNewfoundland‚Äôs oil industry will have everything to gain from opening up the Gulf to oil ‚Äď and other industries and provinces have everything to lose,‚ÄĚ said coalition spokeswoman Mary Gorman.
‚ÄúThis is a precious, shared ecosystem. The premiers need to be talking about working together to protect it.‚ÄĚ
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‚Äôs offshore board giving a green light to oil and gas development off Newfoundland‚Äôs West Coast.
‚ÄúThe science is clear that the Gulf is on the knife‚Äôs edge in terms of industrial development," said Dr. Irene Novaczek, science advisor to the P.E.I. chapter of the coalition.
‚ÄúWe know our premier is concerned and we hope he will bring these concerns to the table at these meetings.‚ÄĚ
Gretchen Fitzgerald of the Sierra Club‚Äôs Atlantic chapter says her organization has been calling for a stop to oil and gas development in the Gulf for over a decade.
‚ÄúDangerous oil development could go ahead by the end of this year. It‚Äôs about time it made it on the agenda when our premiers talk.‚ÄĚ
All four Atlantic premiers are in Saint John, New Brunswick today for the annual Council of Atlantic Premiers meetings.