Greens Applaud AFN and CSN Leadership on Oil and Gas Moratorium in Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the CSN (Confédération des syndicats nationaux), one of Quebec’s largest trade unions with 300,000 members, are both calling for a full moratorium on oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a move that the Green Party of Canada is applauding.

“So many organizations are concerned about the dangers of oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They are asking the government to please heed the wishes of citizens and halt any exploration in this extremely important and sensitive ecosystem,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands. “We commend the leadership of Canada’s First Nations and Quebec’s trade union, in the absence of leadership coming from our federal government on this profoundly serious issue.”

The AFN passed its resolution on December 8th in Ottawa while CSN issued its press release on the same day.

The Green Party has been calling for a Gulf wide environmental impact assessment including economic, social and environmental impacts and allowing for intervenors including non-profits, fishers, the tourism industry and First Nations. “It is imperative that we not risk the economic and environmental benefits of the region for the sake of exploiting possible oil and gas reserves,” said May. “As the CSN is pointing out, sometimes the cost of development is simply not worth it.”

Pierre Patry, Treasurer of the CSN, commented in a release that regions of the North Shore, Lower St. Lawrence, Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine “should not become a science lab, and the research conducted there should not open the door, throughout Quebec, to new engineering techniques bound to create ecological and social damages with far-reaching consequences.”