Actor Jason Priestley endorses Moratorium campaign!

Actor Priestly helps with video for Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition The News

November 29, 2010

NEW GLASGOW – The battle to protect the Gulf of St. Lawrence from oil and gas development received a major boost this week when Canadian-born Hollywood celebrity, Jason Priestley, lent his support to the cause.

Priestley donated his time and talents to shooting a short video asking for a moratorium on oil and gas in the Gulf.

“We are excited about the launch of this video and hope everyone will visit our websites to see Jason and take action. If enough of us raise our voices, we can stop this madness and save the Gulf of St. Lawrence from a monster spill like we just witnessed in the Gulf of Mexico,” says Mary Gorman of Merigomish, a member of Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition.

The Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition says the Gulf of St. Lawrence’s multi-billion dollar renewable fishery and tourism industries deserve protection. The group wants the government to place a moratorium on oil and gas exploration so that these industries are not in jeopardy like those hurt in the Gulf of Mexico this past summer.

The Priestley video was shot by Halifax filmmaker Donna Davies of Ruby Tree Films at Acadia University in Wolfville, near the set of HBO Canada’s Call Me Fitz TV series, which Priestley is starring in. R. Gretchen Fitzgerald, Sierra Club Atlantic, Jason Priestley and Mary Gorman, Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition pose for a photo after shooting a video for the Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition. (Photo: Ruby Tree Films)

“We are thrilled to have Jason Priestley join the battle to protect our gulf,” says Gretchen Fitzgerald of Sierra Club Canada. “We hope he will draw greater attention to the critical need for action on this issue.”

Dr. Jean Patrick Toussaint of the David Suzuki Foundation said the group is calling for a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence because of the vulnerability of the region. She said the Gulf is a rich, diverse environment and home to over 2000 marine species, some of which are listed as endangered, such as the blue whale.

“Research shows that seismic blasting can disrupt the feeding and migration of fish like cod and marine mammals such as blue whales,” says Mark Butler of the Blue Whale Alliance. “In spite of these concerns, the Newfoundland offshore oil board gave permission for seismic testing in the Gulf – we need people to speak out now before serious damage is allowed to occur.”

‘90210’ star backs moratorium on Canadian offshore drilling

November 26, 2010

As Brandon Walsh on the hit TV show, “Beverly Hills 90210,” actor Jason Priestly never shied away from making his voice heard among a tight-knit group of friends struggling to find their way through the tumultuous 1990s.

Now, the Canadian actor is lending his real-life voice to a real-life issue: the future of oil and gas development in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Environmentalists have enlisted him in a campaign to halt oil exploration and drilling in the gulf, a semi-enclosed inland sea bordered by Canada’s five Atlantic provinces, estimated to contain as much as 2 billion barrels of oil in a location that straddles the undersea border between Newfoundland and Quebec.

The Gulf is home to more than 2,000 marine species, including the endangered blue whale and imperiled cod stocks. It’s also a lifeline for Atlantic Canada’s fishing and tourism industries, drawing fears that oil exploration could bring about a fate similar to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“As a Canadian and someone who enjoys nature, I am very concerned about the impacts of offshore oil and gas exploration,” Priestly says in a video posted on the websites of the David Suzuki Foundation and Sierra Club Atlantic.

“Should this resource be exploited, any oil and gas spill would contaminate the coastlines of all five provinces on the gulf. This is why we are calling for a moratorium on exploring and drilling for oil in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.”

The endorsement from Priestly, who currently stars in the HBO Canada series, “Call Me Fitz,” places him in the ranks of a coalition of environmentalists, concerned citizens, fisherman and First Nations groups who support a moratorium on exploration and drilling in the gulf.

Seismic testing began this fall on a location known as the Old Harry prospect in the waters of Newfoundland, and the Quebec government said it hopes to have a deal hammered out soon with the federal government for exploration in its waters.

'90210' star backs moratorium on Canadian offshore drilling