Métis group bids to stop Muskrat Falls hearings
The group that represents Labrador Métis was almost awarded an injunction Wednesday, halting the environmental hearings on the $6.2 billion plan to build a hydroelectric power station at Muskrat Falls on the Churchill River.
Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Justice Richard LeBlanc said Wednesday he considered granting the injunction, but instead put his decision off until March 18.
NunatuKavut — formerly the Labrador Métis Assocaition — claims its rights are not being taken seriously by the provincial government, the environmental panel or by Nalcor Energy, the power company that wants to build the development.
It filed a court application March 1 seeking an injunction to stop the hearings.
LeBlanc appeared to lose patience Wednesday with government lawyers, who so far have not filed any statements of defence.
The lawyers claimed court staff told them Wednesday's hearing was just a brief one to set new dates, and was not a day to debate the injunction.
It was that possibility of confusion that caused LeBlanc to delay his decision.
The environmental hearings started last Thursday in the Labrador town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and were expected to continue for the next month and a half.
The problem for NunatuKavut is that it has yet to be recognized by any government.
The group has filed a claim to be recognized by the federal government, which is still considering it.
If the federal government does officially recognize the group, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale said recently the province will negotiate with its representatives.