Belledune oil terminal project challenged federally
Decision pending in challenge of Calgary-based Chaleur Terminals and Province of New Brunswick
Three Mi'kmaq communities in Quebec are challenging the proposed Chaleur Terminals oil terminal project at the Port of Belledune, this time taking the federal government to court over lack of consultation.
The communities, represented by the Mi'gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat, previously challenged the provincial government's approval of the project for the same reason.
"With these kind of projects often you have both governments making decisions and both governments having to consult and accommodate affected First Nations," said Morgan Kendall, the Montreal-based lawyer representing MMS in the federal challenge.
Concerns about oil spills
Chaleur Terminal's plan would see 150,000 barrels of oil travel through Quebec and the Matapedia Valley to the Restigouche region on its way to Belledune on 220 rail cars each day.
The Calgary-based company then plans to pump the crude oil into storage tanks, eventually to be transferred onto tankers for international export.
The Gaspé Mi'gmaq communities have been vocal in their concerns over how a potential oil spill would affect their way of life, especially their salmon
"They've been writing many letters to the federal government over the last few years asking to be consulted on the project," said Kendall
"And they never got an answer."
The filing asking the court to overturn the Port of Belledune's approval was filed Wednesday.
"In this case there wasn't even consultation, beyond no consultation. There wasn't notice, just no information," said Kendall.
No decision has been released in the provincial court challenge against Chaleur Terminals and the New Brunswick government.
Lawyer Naomi Metallic, originally from the Mi'kmaq community of Listiguj, told CBC News the decision is expected to take months.