Lawyers from Ecojustice, representing the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, World Wildlife Fund Canada and Ecology Action Centre, filed an appeal this week with the Federal Court of Appeal of a decision by a Federal Court judge in December 2021 upholding a regional assessment (RA) of exploratory oil and gas drilling off Newfoundland and Labrador on Canada’s Atlantic coast.
The groups say the RA did not properly consider the cumulative effects of all exploratory drilling projects in the region and that this flawed RA sets a poor and dangerous precedent for regional assessments. They believe an increase in exploratory activity will threaten important marine ecosystems and damage Canada’s ability to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Jordy Thomson, Senior Marine Coordinator (Ecosystems) at the Ecology Action Centre said: “To address the climate and biodiversity crises, Canada needs impact assessment laws that provide the highest standard of environmental protection. The court’s decision to let the deeply flawed regional assessment for exploratory drilling stand instead props open the door for further degradation of our marine environment and global climate. We are appealing this decision to strengthen the Impact Assessment Act and help safeguard sensitive Atlantic marine life.”