Under the United National Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), we have established Zones of influence over our oceans. They are less than perfect, but there are legal mechanisms for settling disputes, although ultimately “power”, financial or physical, can sometimes be the final arbiter.
In the case of Territorial and Inland Waters owned by Canada, the use of our waters is totally dictated by the Federal and Provincial Governments. When heavy industry comes along with a gleam in their eye, there is no effective and professional “community” input what-so-ever other than that provided by ad hoc committees, public meetings, protests, letters to the editor, petitions, and the like. All very distasteful for ordinary, everyday folks who simply wish to protect their investment in their place. As a consequence, “power” almost always wins when it comes to the development of coastal areas. The value of coastal localities along our coast vary widely, but are often easily defined in real economic terms. Unfortunately, resource-based industries such as fishing and tourism are low in the pecking order when faced with challenges from heavy industry. Such is the situation today with the huge hype being developed over the “energy hub” and “Atlantica“.
In the Bay of Fundy, for example, coastal development has been steadily swelling since the sixties. Starting with generating stations, pulp mills, a nuclear power plant, coastal aggregate quarries, Fundy is now seeing another spate of development that could include as many as four LNG terminals, a second refinery in Saint John, a second nuclear power plant at Point Lepreau, a couple of co-generation plants, a chemical plant, and much more. With the arrival of Spanish oil and gas powerhouse RepsolYPF and BP(formerly British Petroleum), the world’s third largest energy company, Atlantica’s ubiquitous Irving Oiland its associated companies may well be about