Drilling in protected waters?

Minister LeBlanc just released a shocking plan that would allow oil and gas exploration in 80% of the Laurentian Channel Marine Protected Area — threatening turtles, whales, and corals.

Big Oil lobbied for these rights, but the plan isn’t final. A huge public outcry could get the Minister to change his mind.

Send LeBlanc a message calling on him to ban oil and gas activities in our protected ocean areas.

Send message now

The Dept. of Fisheries & Oceans just released a shocking plan
 that puts the health of our oceans and its rich marine life at risk.

It wants to allow oil and gas exploration in 80% of a proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Laurentian Channel — an ecological treasure where the Gulf of St. Lawrence meets the Atlantic Ocean, and a critical migration route for endangered species like the blue whale and leatherback turtle. [1-2]

What's more, Natural Resources Canada says there’s probably not much oil to find there — which means Big Oil who lobbied for these exploration rights, wants to throw the abundant life of the Channel into jeopardy for scraps.[3]

Oil and gas exploration poses a huge threat to marine life and should be banned from any protected ocean area. 

Fisheries & Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc buried his controversial proposal deep in a Friday media release hoping no-one would notice. But the proposal isn’t finalized yet and together we can stop it.[4]

A flood of messages to the Minister will catch him off guard, and show him the public won't stand by as oil companies drill, blast, and disrupt habitats in protected waters. It could be enough pressure to get him to remove the exploration rights from the Laurentian MPA, and fully protect the area.

Click to send Minister LeBlanc a message telling him to ban all oil and gas activities in the proposed Laurentian Channel MPA.
Send your message

The Laurentian Channel area off the southwest coast of Newfoundland was identified by Fisheries and Oceans Canada as an Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area. The proposed Marine Protection Area (MPA) seeks to replenish depleting fish stocks, and protect critical migration routes for marine mammals, including the endangered Northern wolffish and leatherback sea turtle. Thousands of other species use this rich ecological playground to spawn, nurse, and feed.[5]

The proposal to protect the Laurentian Channel is a welcomed decision — except it comes with a giant, backwards, and risky exception: up to 80% of the proposed area will be open to oil and gas exploration.  

The Ministry says the proposed oil and gas exploration would be restricted, but oil and gas activities are never compatible with protection. Exploration threatens marine life with noise pollution, habitat disturbance, and physical injury from seismic blasting. [6]

Companies are banned from drilling and exploring in national parks on land — it should be a no-brainer to ban the same activities in our vulnerable ocean areas.[7] Protection should mean protection.

Speak up now 

Big Oil wants access to the Laurentian Channel because it thinks there could be oil and wants to cash in no matter the cost. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers who pushed for the rights will try to convince Minister LeBlanc to keep them.[8]  A huge public outcry could get Minister LeBlanc to change his mind and scrap them from the final plan.  Add your voice by clicking here. 

Ocean scientists, experts, and environmental groups are outraged about opening up oil exploration in the Laurentian Channel MPA. They're are calling on the public to pile on the pressure. One of us taking action might not change anything, but thousands of us speaking up sends a powerful message that can't be ignored. Click to speak up now.


With hope and respect, 

Brittany, Logan, and Katelynn on behalf of the Leadnow team


[1] Trudeau government proposes opening St. Lawrence marine protected area to oil exploration,
[2]Environmental groups slam government plans to allow oil and gas drilling in proposed marine protected area, http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2017/06/26/environmental-groups-slam-government-plans-to-allow-oil-and-gas-drilling-in-proposed-marine-protected-area/
[3] See [1]
[4-5] Canada Gazette, Laurentian Channel Marine Protected Area, www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2017/2017-06-24/html/reg2-eng.php
[6] World Wildlife Fund, Canada, http://www.wwf.ca/conservation/oceans/marine_protected_areas/laurentian_channel_mpa/
[7] See [2]
[8] See [1]

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