News release

Province Extends George's Bank Moratorium

Nova Scotia is introducing legislation today, Nov. 3, extending, indefinitely, a moratorium on oil and gas exploration on the Canadian portion of George's Bank, a sensitive marine eco-system off the south coast of the province.

"It's just not worth the risk to drill in an area this important to Nova Scotians," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "Rather than continue this debate every few years, this legislation will provide certainty about our intentions around George's Bank. Until a compelling case can be made for this decision to be reconsidered, the moratorium will stand."

Earlier this year, the province announced that it would extend the moratorium until Dec. 31, 2015, to allow for more scientific study. The legislation will extend it indefinitely and require a public hearing and a vote in the legislature to lift it.

"George's Bank is clearly different from the rest of our offshore," said Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks. "We need to ensure that industry practices, technology, and other factors have improved to the point where we have full confidence to proceed and we are making the right decision to protect the George's Bank and its valuable resources."

The legislation requires the province to work with the federal government to support this recommendation to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, the independent joint agency responsible for the regulation of petroleum activities in Nova Scotia's offshore.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province is introducing legislation today (November 3rd) to extend the moratorium on oil and gas exploration on the Canadian portion of George's Bank indefinitely.

Premier Darrell Dexter says rather than continue this debate every few years, this legislation will provide certainty about our intentions around George's Bank.

Premier Dexter says until a compelling case can be made for this decision to be reconsidered, the moratorium, which was recently extended to December 31st, 2015, will remain in place.

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Media Contacts:

Jennifer Stewart
Premier's Office 902-424-0007 Cell: 902-497-7198
Nancy Watson
Department of Energy 902-424-1195 Cell: 902-403-0010 E-mail: