pe-si-oildrilling

A group of Islanders headed for the Magdalen Islands Thursday, where a meeting is being held on a proposed new exploration well in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. ((CBC))

Groups concerned about offshore oil and gas drilling left P.E.I. Thursday headed for the Magdalen Islands, where a meeting is being held on a proposed new exploration well in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

"The proposed location is right in the middle of the Laurentian channel and that carries water to the whole Gulf," said Marilyn Clark, a student from Memorial University working to encourage fisheries groups to become engaged in protecting the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

"So it becomes a national concern to five provinces from that location."

Four Islanders were part of the small group that left Souris for the Magdalen Islands.

They're taking part in a forum on the exploratory well being proposed by Halifax-based Corridor Resources.

The company said it would drill in an environmentally safe manner.

The company wants to see how much gas and oil there is below the ocean floor between the Magdalen Islands and Newfoundland.

The site, known as Old Harry, falls under the jurisdiction of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, and is thought to be one of the largest undrilled prospects in eastern Canada

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board is the body that will decide whether the drilling goes ahead.

But some people—including the Prince Edward Island Fishermen's Association—are worried about what drilling could mean for marine life.

Souris Mayor Dave MacDonald says he's going to the Magdalen Island on a fact-finding mission.

"I know Canada has much greater safeguards than our friends to the south do. But at the same time, we don't want another Louisiana [2010 oil spill] on our shores. So, I want to find out what's going on," MacDonald said.

"We think Quebec don't need oil. And the same for Newfoundland. Because with Churchill and the electricity that will be passed from Nova Scotia we don't need to have the oil in the St. Lawrence," said Martin Poirier, an environmentalist who came from Quebec to take part.

Corridor Resources said it will be making a presentation on the Magdalen Islands.

Officials from the company said there is an environmental assessment going on right now, and that the public will have a chance to have its say.

The company said that if this project goes ahead, there will be significant economic spin offs for all of Eastern Canada.