Kensington council supports moratorium on offshore drilling

Mike Carson
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Deputy Mayor Caseley disappointed with lack of support from FPEIM

KENSINGTON - The Town of Kensington has joined seven other Island municipalities calling for a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Kensington Deputy Mayor Rowan Caseley

 

Save Our Seas and Shores P.E.I., a coalition of concerned citizens and organizations, is calling on the governments of the five provinces bordering the Gulf of St. Lawrence to pass a moratorium on all oil and gas exploration and development in order to protect the gulf ecosystem and the livelihoods of those involved in fishing and tourism. They say the gulf supports over $1.5 billion in revenue in the fishing industry and is home to over 6,000 marine species, including the endangered blue whale.

The group made a request to the Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities  to pass the resolution but the federatiomn declined, leaving it up to the individual municipalities to support the resolution or not.

Kensington Mayor Gordon Coffin said councillors could make their own determination and support or not support the resolution.

“Their motion was a negative motion that they did not want to become involved in this,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we can’t deal with it.”

Kensington Deputy Mayor Rowan Caseley said council should support the moratorium.

“I think that’s an important issue for Prince Edward Island,” Caseley said. “Quite frankly, I’m surprised that the Federation of P.E.I. Municipalities didn’t take a stand on it. They, as a group, should be speaking for all the municipalities. It really troubles me that the federation chose to ignore something that has such a potential big impact on the province. I’m disappointed with that.”

Caseley told council that the town should make its feelings known on the issue.

“Since they’re not prepared to take a stand, I think the Town of Kensington should jump on board, the same as the municipalities of Victoria, Murray Harbour, North Rustico, Breadalbane, Cavendish, Miltonvale Park and Murray River,” he said. “They passed resolutions similar to this."

The deputy mayor said municipalities “have to stand together” to make sure the shoreline and waters around Prince Edward Island remain clean.

Town council passed a resolution supporting a moratorium on oil and gas exploration and drilling in Prince Edward Island waters and recommended that the Prince Edward Island government collaborate with the governments of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and with the First Nations, to establish a comprehensive management plan for the Gulf of St. Lawrence that puts a priority on protection of the marine ecosystem.

mcarson@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: Kensington council, Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities, Federation of P.E.I. Municipalities Town council First Nations

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Kensington, Victoria Murray Harbour Breadalbane Miltonvale Park Murray River Canada Nova Scotia New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador Quebec

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