In the absence of ocean protection in Canada our coalition has struggled for 20 years to protect the fragile Gulf of St. Lawrence from seismic blasting and off shore oil and gas development. With the Old Harry oil and gas lease gone for now we’ve won a battle, but not the war. Listen at 18:45 to podcast below.
PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT POST BY OUR ALLIES, THE ST-LAWRENCE COALITION.
Corridor Resources Oil exploration company corridor resources has not applied to the Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Petroleum Board for its exploration permit at the old Harry site.P
Therefore, the company no longer has any rights on the site on the Newfoundland side, but it still holds license on the Quebec side, as the site crosses the border between the two provinces in the gulf.
The Coalition believes that it has won the battle, but not the war, since in its view, only a moratorium will guarantee the protection of the Gulf’s biodiversity.
Old Harry : Newfoundland Revokes Corridor Resources’ Oil and Gas Exploration Licence
The St. Lawrence Coalition is pleased with this environmental victory
January 20, 2020 – Corridor Resources’ Old Harry oil and gas drilling project, located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, was waning over the past few months. However, it is now dead, done and gone as the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) revoked the oil company’s licence last Wednesday.
The St. Lawrence Coalition, which has been advocating for a decade asking for a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the entire Gulf region, is pleased with this new development. “For years, an unprecedented movement of mobilized citizens, fishermen and scientists, joined by the Innu, Malécite and Mi’maq First Nations, sent a clear message: the Gulf of St. Lawrence is too precious to be subjected to the risks associated with oil and gas exploration. This mobilisation seems to have been successful as the message was heard”, states Sylvain Archambault, spokesperson for the St. Lawrence Coalition and biologist at SNAP Québec.
In addition to the pressure exerted by the population from the five provinces around the Gulf, other factors may have played a role in the decision to drop the project. As a matter of fact, according to the last technical analyses ordered by Corridor Resources, the Old Harry site appears to contain natural gas rather than oil, and its potential has been significantly overestimated. Moreover, despite years of efforts dedicated to finding a major financial partner, none has shown interest in the project.
“Abandoning this project makes even more sense in these current times, as we must lay to rest unexploited fossil fuels in order to achieve our objectives to fight climate change and as ocean protection becomes crucial, “ asserts Louise Hénault-Éthier, science project manager with the David Suzuki Foundation.
“As the Gulf of St. Lawrence is subjected to enormous environmental pressures linked to climate change, ocean acidification and toxic waste dumping, and as endangered species such as the North Atlantic right whale and the blue whale are fighting for their survival, it is reassuring to learn that oil and gas exploration will stop being an additional threat,” according to Alain Branchaud, SNAP Québec’s general director.
“Although we are happy with the withdrawal of the Old Harry project on the Newfoundland side, it could eventually be revived on the Quebec side of the geological feature. Indeed, Corridor Resources still owns two exploration licences on the Quebec side of the Old Harry deposit. No drilling project is planned now, but if Quebec and Canada put in place an appropriate regulatory framework, the threat of drilling in the Gulf could become real again in the future,” suggests Alice Anne-Simard, Nature Québec’s general director.
“There is still a significant risk overshadowing the ecosystems and coastal communities that depend on the Gulf’s health for their survival. The only way to remove this risk would be to put in place a complete moratorium banning oil and gas exploration activities in the entire Gulf,” states Danielle Giroux, Attention Frag’Île’s general director. “Oil and gas exploration should not take place in such a fragile environment and is incompatible with the main socio-economic activities taking place in coastal communities, such as fishing and tourism,” concludes Mrs. Giroux.
The St. Lawrence Coalition, through its co-founding organisations Attention FragÎles, SNAP Québec, Nature Québec and the David Suzuki Foundation, is currently represented with Newfoundland’s Supreme Court by Ecojustice’s team of lawyers. We consider that the C-NLOPB has overstepped its powers in 2016 by providing Corridor Resources with another exploration licence. The Court has heard the parties’ pleadings and has reserved its judgement. The Sierra Club of Canada Foundation has also joined us in this legal process.
The St. Lawrence Coalition brings together First Nations and non-aboriginal citizens, from 85 organisations and associations, as well as over 5000 individuals from diverse economic fields and from the five provinces neighbouring the Gulf. Coalition members are asking for a moratorium on oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the entire Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The St. Lawrence Coalition is overseen by a steering committee comprised of Attention FragÎles, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-Québec Chapter (SNAP Québec) and Nature Québec.
Download St. Lawrence Coalition’s report on oil and gas exploration in the Gulf, “Gulf 101”: http://bit.ly/2o15Y4e
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Join Ethan Hawke- Help Save Right Whales & Save The Gulf of Saint Lawrence
We need your help. Please sign Sierra Club Canada’s letter and share this message to get our leaders to finally hear the deafening blasts that whales endure every single minute of every day when seismic blasting is happening.
A national and grassroots non-profit organization committed to protecting our environment, communities, and future
For immediate release: May 9th, 2019
Ethan Hawke Lending His Voice to Film, New Campaign to Protect Whales and Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Halifax, NS – Starchild Production’s new film The Vanishing Call of the Right Whale featuring Ethan Hawke and Dr. Linda Weilgart will premiere on May 14th in Halifax, NS. The film will kick off a new campaign to protect endangered whales in Canadian waters from the impacts of seismic blasting.
WHO: Save Our Seas and Shores, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Starchild Productions, Sierra Club US, Clean Ocean Action Committee
WHAT: The Vanishing Call of the Right Whale Film Screening & Campaign Launch.
WHERE: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Windsor Foundation Theatre (Granville St. Entrance), Halifax NS
WHEN: 10:30 AM – 12:00 NOON, Tuesday May 14th, 2019
Please note Ethan Hawke will not be attending this event.
For more information, please contact:
Mary Gorman, Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition, firstname.lastname@example.org 902-759-5963
Gretchen Fitzgerald, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, email@example.com 902-444-7096