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Abstract: 

The Government of British Columbia (BC) has asked the Government of Canada to consider lifting the federal moratorium on oil and gas activities offshore of British Columbia. In response, the Government of Canada is proceeding with a review to: (a) identify science gaps related to possible oil and gas activity offshore BC; (b) hear the views of the public regarding whether or not the federal moratorium should be lifted for selected areas; and (c) consult with First Nations to ensure that issues of unique interest to First Nations are fully explored. Part (a) of this three-stage process is this science review being conducted at the invitation of the Minister of Natural Resources Canada. Only the Queen Charlotte Basin (QCB) is under consideration by the Minister and the Expert Panel has therefore restricted its focus to the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. The review included three open science workshops, in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, during which experts informed the Panel about the area, the nature of oil and gas activities and their impacts, followed by open discussion. The Panel alsoreceived and considered many written briefs before drawing its conclusions.

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