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Property Rights Under Threat: GSI

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Published on Mar 25, 2014

Property Rights Under Threat is a new video from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy that covers the plight of Geophysical Service Incorporated, a Calgary-based business that specializes in seismic exploration.

For many years, GSI conducted seismic surveys of the ocean floor off the coast of Canada, bringing much-needed jobs and investment to many communities.

But new policies implemented by governments in eastern Canada have destroyed GSI's business model and devastated the company.

GSI can no longer afford to operate the two exploration ships it used to own, and has been forced to let go almost all of the hundreds of staff they once had.

GSI financed further seismic exploration by licensing the data they had previously collected to energy companies who used the research in their resource exploration efforts.

But now, the Newfoundland and Nova Scotia governments have begun releasing GSI's seismic data to the general public for free on their government websites.

The data was originally submitted to the governments as part of standard regulatory rules used to ensure the province's resources were developed in a responsible manner -- something that GSI has never objected to.

"The provincial governments think that giving commercially sensitive data to energy companies for free is "for the greater good" and will increase the likelihood of the province striking it rich in their explorations, but in reality this practice just greatly reduces the incentive for businesses to collect the data in the first place, harming the province's prospects in the long run," said Paul Einarsson, Chairman of Geophysical Service Incorporated.

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