Bay of Fundy fishermen have failed in their bid to stop the deployment of electricity-generating tidal turbines in the Minas Basin near Parrsboro, N.S.
In a ruling released today, Justice Jamie Campbell of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court said there is no evidence to suggest irreparable harm will be caused by putting the turbines in the water from now until next February. That's when the court is scheduled to hear an appeal of the government's decision to permit the deployment of the turbines.
The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association went to court last week to try to get an injunction to stop Cape Sharp Tidal Ventures from putting two test turbines in the water.
The fishermen relied on reports from two experts who voiced concerns about the lack of "baseline data" to measure conditions in the Minas Basin before the turbines are deployed. Cape Sharp countered with its own expert, who said there is no evidence permanent damage would be caused by the turbines.
Not 'a rolling of the dice'
Campbell said the fishermen have legitimate concerns.
"The concern about the environment in the Bay of Fundy has to be taken very seriously," he wrote. "The potential implications of getting this wrong are massive."
But the judge also noted there was nothing to suggest that having the turbines in the water for the next four months would have a lasting impact.
"There was nothing cavalier about the approach that was used," Campbell wrote. "Scientists may differ on the proper approach to testing but this was not in any sense a rolling of the dice."
This afternoon, a Cape Sharp Tidal spokesperson told CBC News that a date for deploying the turbines has not been finalized but final preparations are underway.