Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat statement re: Oil and Gas in Gespe’gewa’gi

Oil and Gas: Gespe’gewa’gi
Information Bulletin

For Immediate Release:

Feb. 15, 2013, Gespe’gewagi – Oil & Gas exploration in Gespe’gewa’gi is quickly becoming an important topic as news spreads of large oil deposits and an apparent race by Québec and junior oil exploration companies to attract outside investors. To provide clarification on how the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat is involved in issues related to Oil & Gas, we offer the following information:

At this time, the MMS does not have a mandate from the communities to pursue issues related to Oil and Gas development on Gespe’gewa’gi. There are no discussions between oil & gas exploration companies and MMS to pursue any development. The MMS is not facilitating oil exploration, or encouraging any company to drill in Gespe’gewa’gi.

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) continues to fail in its obligation to consult with the Mi’gmaq. There continues to be no attempts by Quebec to seek consultation on potential oil & gas leases or permits.

The MMS will be meeting with the Mi’gmaq Tri-council (Chief and Councillors from Gesgapegiag, Gespeg and Listuguj) in the spring of 2013 to table a ‘Draft Energy Policy’. The MMS will be seeking direction from the Leadership on how to ensure the interests of the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaq are realized and our rights and environment are protected.

It is clear to the Leadership that at this time, offshore oil exploration in the Gulf cannot be done in a safe manner.  With the current exploration technology we understand that risks are very high and have the potential to cause irreparable damage to our lands and waters and most importantly; our salmon.

The Leadership of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi put forward a demand for a moratorium on the exploration and exploitation of Oil & Gas in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. Further to that, the MM leadership joined forces with the St. Lawrence Coalition to pressure the government to put a permanent moratorium on Oil and Gas development in the Gulf.

With the help of biologists and other environmental monitoring experts, we are conducting studies on the effects of fracking to water and land. The MMS is working to provide relevant information so that the Leadership of the 3 Mi’gmaq communities are well informed on all the environmental, social and economic impacts of oil & gas exploration. It is always our preoccupation to work to provide this information to aide the leadership to make informed decisions. The protection of the environment remains as the paramount objective.

Source: • Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat  • 2 Riverside West,  P.O. Box 135 • Listuguj,   Gespe’gewa’gi,  Qc.    G0C 2R0 • Tel: (418) 788-1760  • Toll Free 1 (800) 370-1760  • Fax: (418) 788-1315

• E-mail: secretariat@migmawei.ca