SI2017-E-1: Nova Scotia’s Role on Sable Island in the 1970s – Hon. Glen Bagnell

1970 Minister of Mines and Water Resources Commission

This presentation provides a Nova Scotia Government perspective from the1970s on its interest and role in the affairs of Sable Island. Following results of drilling the first exploratory well on Sable during the late 1960s there was considerable optimism that ”It’s Oil” would lead to an economic boom for the province. As seen in other Canadian provinces oil and gas would provide new sources of revenue and employment opportunities from an offshore area. The Nova Scotia Government needed a presence on Sable Island besides that of the administrative role of the federal government for the weather station and Coast Guard activities. The newly formed Ground Water Section and the Petroleum Section presented that opportunity. Firstly, Mobil Oil Canada Ltd. had posed the question of the availability of a potable water supply on the West portion of the island where they wanted to establish a base camp for up to 80 persons. Our Groundwater Section responded with the first study of the freshwater reservoir under the island. As support for provincial employees on the island, a Base Camp was established for the use of the groundwater and petroleum geologists, engineers, and other staff as required.