Coalition calls public consultations phony10/12/2012
NEW GLASGOW – A coalition of groups calling federally ordered pubic consultations by the Canada –Newfoundland and Labour Board on the “Old Harry” phony and undemocratic.
Merigomish resident Mary Gorman, who is also a member of Save Our Seas Coalition, said consultations taking place in Sydney today as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment update of “Old Harry” and western Newfoundland Gulf waters will not do anything to protect the gulf waters and its endangered species.
“Unfortunately, these alleged consultations are not transparent or democratic. What makes them even worse is that they appear to have little to do with the environment,” said Gorman. “With tens of thousands of renewable jobs at stake in our tourism and fishing industries, the Gulf’s coastal communities deserve to be taken more seriously than this.”
The coalition says these unelected offshore petroleum boards are in a conflict of interest as both promoters of development and protectors of the environment who do not have the scientific expertise to competently address complex marine ecosystems. The coalition is calling on the federal government to get rid of these unelected provincial petroleum boards in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and to reinstate federal marine protection for this sensitive inland sea.
“These phony consultations reflect the fallout from the Harper government’s deep and undemocratic cuts to Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans over the past year,” said Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer for the Council of Canadians. “The Gulf of St. Lawrence borders five provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Quebec. The fishery alone in the region has an estimated value of $1.5 billion annually.”