New Brunswick

Canaport LNG bird kill pleas delayed again

The federal prosecutor in a Saint John case involving the deaths of thousands of songbirds at the Canaport gas terminal in 2013 agreed to an adjournment of pleas Monday to allow for "a reasonable chance of resolution" in the case.

Federal Crown agrees to delay pleas for Irving Oil, Canaport, Repsol in hope deal can be reached

The federal prosecutor in a Saint John case involving the deaths of thousands of songbirds at the Canaport gas terminal in 2013 agreed to an adjournment of pleas Monday to allow for "a reasonable chance of resolution" in the case.

Irving Oil Ltd., Canaport LNG and Repsol were to enter pleas in the case on Monday. They are charged with violating the Migratory Birds Convention Act, and a charge under the Species at Risk Act, in connection with a 2013 incident where 7,500 song birds flew into a gas flare at the Canaport gas terminal and were killed.

Each charge carries a maximum fine of $1 million.

Zoologists said the incident was extremely unusual and foggy conditions could could have been a factor.

The birds were migrating south for the winter in September 2013 and have been described as being drawn to the flare likes moths to a flame.

In court Monday, defence lawyers said the companies are not in a position to enter a plea and the Crown agreed to delay the hearing another month in the hope a resolution can be reached.

The parties are scheduled to return to court on Nov. 5.

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