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Mi’kmaq Chiefs Concerned with Shell’s Plans for Shelburne Basin Project

by ahnationtalk on August 13, 2015628 Views

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs have grave concerns with the Shell Canada’s plan for dealing with a potential deep-well blowout on the Shelburne Basin Venture Exploration Drilling Project.

Recently, Environment Canada signed off on the plan which allows Shell to have 12 to 21 days after a blowout to see that a primary capping stack in put in place.

Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO) has brought forward concerns to Shell Canada about the safety measures that must be taken to avoid a spill, as well as the recovery time allowed, in the event that a spill should happen. KMKNO, and their 12 member communities, believe that necessary equipment should be in a more a strategic location and that all precautions should be taken, to prevent damage to the waters and marine life surrounding the project area, in the event of a spill.

“Allowing up to 21 days is far too long,” said Chief Paul J. Prosper, Energy Lead for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. “If this project is to move forward, focus needs to be placed on avoidance of a spill and stronger precautions must be undertaken to protect the environment, in all scenarios, before any work begins.”

More recently in the media, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) also publically stated that they are prepared to add conditions to exploratory licenses.

The Assembly and KMKNO feel that the CNSOPB should be adding a condition to exploratory licenses, much like was introduced in the United States, where companies must have the capping stack to be on hand in the event of a blowout within 24 hours.

The Mi’kmaq Nation in Nova Scotia has a general interest in all lands and waters in Nova Scotia and as co-owners of the resources expect to be meaningfully consulted on any concerns and potential impacts to Rights and Title shall be addressed.

“We have a number of Mi’kmaq communities who fish in the location of this project,” continued Chief Prosper. “We want to ensure that any drilling does not impact access to these essential resources and the health of the environment.”

The Assembly and KMKNO will continue to bring concerns to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and Shell Canada as part of their ongoing efforts to ensure the lands, waters and environment are protected.

The Kwilmu’kw Maw- klusuaqn Negotiation Office/Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative works on behalf of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs in the negotiations and consultations between the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, the Province of Nova

Scotia and the Government of Canada. The purpose of these negotiations and consultations is to implement our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights from the Treaties signed by our ancestors in the 1700’s. For further information visit our website at


For more information contact:

Crystal Dorey, Communications Officer

Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative

Phone: (902) 843-3880

Cell: (902) 957-0549



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