Belledune, N.B., oil terminal developer refutes First Nations allegations

In a press release from Chaleur Terminals Inc., the company says its efforts to educate local people, municipalites, and First Nations communities about its Belledune, N.B., tank farm and railway system project have been "extensive." The release says a "First Nations Summary Log" has been provided to the government

Mi'gmaq communities trying to get judge to halt permits say they weren't consulted

Chaleur Terminals purchased 250 acres of land from the Port of Belledune in 2014, and had planned to begin construction by 2016 (Bridget Yard/CBC)

Chaleur Terminals Inc., the company behind a Belledune, N.B., oil tank farm and railway system, says its efforts to educate local people, municipalities, and First Nations communities about the project have been "extensive."

A press release from the company says a "First Nations Summary Log" has been provided to the government and shows records of meetings, phone calls, and emails from the company. 

"Several of these attempts resulted in no response over the course of the last few years," it reads.

The Mi'gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat, representing 3 Gaspé First Nations, is challenging CTI's permit to build in Belledune in Campbellton's Court of Queen's Bench.

MMS and Listuguj First Nation are named applicants in a judicial review of the province of New Brunswick's decision to allow CTI's project at the Port of Belledune.

Lawyers for MMS and Listuguj presented their arguments earlier this week before Justice Lucie Lavigne in Campbellton, and lawyers for CTI and the province will respond May 17-19.

Arguments of oil by rail danger "not relevant"

In the press release, entitled "Belledune Export Terminal Media Response," the company further explains its position and its project.

Troy Jerome, executive director of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat says the province has to grant permits in the proper way, because of ancestral land rights. (CBC)
It refers to the company's work with service providers such as CN and the Port of Belledune.

"The railway transportation is the responsibility of CN Rail and is federally regulated by Transport Canada," it reads.

"Arguments against shipping of oil by rail along rivers in the Matapedia Valley to Belledune are not relevant in this activity as it is outside of CTI's project."

The Chaleur Terminals project, which would see 220 rail cars filled with Alberta oil travel by rail to Belledune each day, has received approval from the provincial government, and has registered an environmental impact assessment, which has been approved.

Requests to the company in Calgary for copies of the summary log, and for interviews by phone have been denied.