The Green Party of Canada is calling for a moratorium on exploration and drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the face of a proposed deep-water oil well.
Corridor Resources Inc. is looking for approval from the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to drill a well east of Prince Edward Island by 2015.
At a news conference in Halifax Wednesday, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said the prime minister is reducing environmental protection in Canada to make it easier for companies to drill in areas teeming with fish and whales.
"Stephen Harper, he's taken a position on the Gulf of St. Lawrence — it's open season for oil and gas," she said.
Phil Knoll, president of Corridor Resources Inc., responded to May's call for a moratorium.
"I can tell you we certainly don't agree with it. We believe and we think it's well documented that the industry can conduct seismic and exploration projects very safely."
Tom Duck, an atmospheric scientist at Dalhousie University, said he attended May's event to express concerns about laying off scientists who could have weighed in on the drilling debate.
"Key groups at Environment Canada (and the) Department of Fisheries and Oceans that monitor the impacts of oil and gas development have been dismantled. With this in mind, I think that a moratorium is prudent."
A decision on whether Corridor Resources can drill in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is expected in July 2013.