Moratorium Extended on Oil and Gas Activities in Georges Bank

OTTAWA, ON, April 27, 2022 /CNW/ – Healthy oceans and waterways ensure prosperous local economies for communities from coast to coast to coast. The Government of Canada is focused on protecting diverse ecosystems and the good jobs that rely on them.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Tory Rushton, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, announced that they have decided to extend the statutory moratorium on oil and gas activities in the Canadian portion of Georges Bank to December 31, 2032.

Georges Bank, a large ocean bank at the edge of the Atlantic continental shelf between Cape Cod and Nova Scotia, provides habitat for a wide range of fish, marine mammals and corals. As one of the world’s most productive fishing grounds, Georges Bank also supports thousands of jobs and vital commercial fisheries.

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and its mirror provincial legislation (collectively referred to as the Accord Acts) provides both federal and provincial ministers with authorities to prohibit oil and gas activities in this sensitive area. The Accord Acts also provides for the possibility of further extensions up to a period of 10 years each through subsequent ministerial notices.

The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia remain committed to developing our offshore resources in a sustainable and responsible way to ensure the protection of our environment and our economy. The Georges Bank moratorium is an example of that commitment in action.


“By extending this moratorium on offshore oil and gas activities in Georges Bank, we are maintaining a unique and valuable ecosystem for current and future generations. This decision is in keeping with the shared goals of both the federal and provincial governments to protect our oceans and our economy while continuing to work toward a clean energy future.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources 

“Nova Scotians want resource development to be balanced with strong protection for the environment. As we work toward our clean energy goals, our governments are extending the Georges Bank moratorium to ensure offshore development strikes this important balance.”

The Honourable Tory Rushton

Nova Scotia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables

“To provide the data needed to inform this decision, our team recently commissioned a science and socio-economic report on Georges Bank. This work involved careful evaluation of credible and objective fisheries and scientific information, and the creation of a detailed report. This report provided the federal and provincial governments with the data needed to support evidence-based decision-making related to the Georges Bank moratorium.”

Alisdair McLean

Executive Director, Net Zero Atlantic

Associated link

SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

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