Protesters plan ‘Unwelcoming Party’ after BP Canada permitted to prepare for drilling off N.S.

FILE - British Petroleum Canada has been granted permission to prepare for drilling off Nova Scotia.
FILE - British Petroleum Canada has been granted permission to prepare for drilling off Nova Scotia. The Canadian Press/AP-Daniella Beccaria/ via AP

British Petroleum Canada may have been granted permission to prepare for drilling of an exploratory well off the coast of Nova Scotia — but protesters are hoping to make it clear to the energy giant that they’re not welcome in the province.

The Nova Scotia Branch of the Council of Canadians Acting for Social Justice are set to host an “Unwelcoming Party” on April 11 in front of the BP Office’s on Hollis Street in Halifax, N.S.

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The organization says that BP’s role in the Deepwater Horizon spill should disqualify the company from drilling off Nova Scotia.

“Join the Council of Canadians, the Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia, fishermen, tourism operators and treaty rights holders, and all those who think we deserve a lot better than anything BP has to offer at the Unwelcoming Party!,” says the description of the Facebook event.

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On Saturday, it was announced that the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) had authorized BP Canada to bring their drilling unit, the Seadrill West Aquarius, into Canadian-Nova Scotia waters as part of preparations for drilling an exploratory well.

BP has not yet been given permission to begin drilling and will have to receive further permission if it plans to take any actions.

“Vessels and equipment, along with necessary plans and procedures, were appropriately reviewed to ensure that all preparatory activity will be conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” Stuart Pinks, CEO of CNSOPB.

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BP Canada applied on Sept. 21, 2017 to drill a deep-water exploration well approximately 330-kilometres from Halifax.

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According to the application, the well would reach 2,800 metres of water depth.

The protest is planned for 1 p.m. at 1701 Hollis Street on Wednesday.

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