Gulf of St. Lawrence oil drilling petition tabled

A group trying to prevent oil drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence had a petition tabled yesterday in the P.E.I. legislature.

The petition, which has more than 1,200 signatures, was tabled by Liberal MLA Buck Watts. It calls for P.E.I. to declare a moratorium on drilling within its territorial waters, and to work with the other Atlantic provinces and Quebec to prevent any drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

"It's not worth the risk to our tourism industry, our fisheries industry, coastal landowners," said Ellie Reddin of the P.E.I. chapter of the group Save our Seas and Shores.

"We're surrounded by the Gulf. The risk to our Island from any kind of major spill or blowout in the Gulf is much too hard to take."

Corridor Resources has conducted seismic testing at a site 80 kilometres off the coast of Iles de la Madeleine, and has applied to drill an exploration well.

Premier Robert Ghiz responded to the petitions saying that there is no need for a moratorium on drilling in P.E.I. waters because P.E.I. doesn't have any oil.

As for drilling elsewhere in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Ghiz said he has faith in the environmental review process now underway.

"Obviously it's something that we'll watch," he said.

"But we trust the systems that are in place now to ensure that the regulations and environmental procedures are being followed."

A decision on the Corridor Resources application is expected this summer.

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