Dalhousie Law Journal


Canada, oil, gas, offshore, development, fisheries, Nova Scotia, environmental assessment, marine


For many years, development of the oil and gas potential off the east coast of Canada was delayed while the jurisdictional issues in respect of the area were resolved. While the provinces lost the major court battles on jurisdiction, political pressures combined with practical aspects of provincial involvement in the land bases for operations in the offshore area have resulted in pragmatic cooperation between the two levels of government and the establishment of joint administrative Boards to oversee exploration and development in the area. This paper explores the background to and the mechanics used for this pragmatic constitutional resolution and, in the context of certain specific exploration and development issues, addresses how the cooperative effort is implemented by the relevant Board and the two levels of government in an attempt to achieve sustainable development of the offshore area