Online edition of Shunpiking
Thursday, Jan 01, 2004
Priests: not at all costs
By PRIESTS OF INVERNESS DEANERY
Letter in The Inverness Oran
(INVERNESS, November 19, 2003) -- Several years ago the Priests of the Inverness Deanery arranged meetings between Corridor Oil and Gas Resources who were proposing oil and gas development off our shore and the fishermen and others of our area whose livelihood would be impacted by such development.
The purpose of these meetings was to make people aware of the pro and cons of oil and gas development and the consequences of sonic boom testing that would be a prelude to such development.
These initial meetings were the springboard for further meetings and scientific investigation into this matter. At risk is a billion dollar sustainable fishery that is contingent upon maintaining the delicate ecological balance that makes the Gulf of St. Lawrence such an abundant resource.
We feel that a critical moment in this debate has arrived. Corridor Resources have definite plans to begin seismic testing in December. This decision to proceed has been made despite the fact that a group of oceanographers and biologists have made it very clear that such testing has the potential to adversely affect dolphins, whales, fish species and crustaceans. They feel strongly that more study should be done before any such testing begins.
We as a Deanary echo these concerns and strongly support their call to federal environment officials to do an assessment of the entire Gulf of St. Lawrence and their call to the Nova Scotia government to create a provincial energy strategy before the approval of any seismic program.
If the development of the oil and gas industry off our shores results in destroying the fishing industry and our environment, it will be a loss of gigantic proportions which will impact upon our own and future generations.
We certainly support wholeheartedly the development of our natural resources and the jobs and opportunities they would provide, but not at all costs.