Nova Scotia

Mi'kmaw grandmothers to launch land title claim against Alton Gas project

Three Indigenous women who were arrested last week have launched a legal fight against Alton Gas, which has a controversial plan to use water from Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie River to create large underground storage caverns.

Lawyer says injunction will be filed to prevent work along the river while claim is settled

The women were arrested after the RCMP enforced an injunction and removed demonstrators from a blockade last week. (Carolyn Ray/CBC)

Three Indigenous women described as "grassroots grandmothers" who were arrested last week at a rural construction site north of Halifax have filed a title claim over land where a company plans to build a natural gas storage facility.

Their lawyer, Michael McDonald, told the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Wednesday that the claim is based on the 1752 treaty with the Crown and the notice of motion is for an Aboriginal title claim for the lands currently being used by Alton Gas.

McDonald said an injunction will also be filed to prevent Alton Gas from doing further work along the Shubenacadie River at Fort Ellis, while the title claim is being settled.

Meanwhile, McDonald's clients — Darlene Gilbert, Madonna Bernard and Paula Isaac — signed a court order to abide by a temporary injunction that bars protesters from the work site.

Alton Gas plans to use water from the river to create large, underground storage caverns and protesters fear the 73-kilometre tidal river, which cuts through the middle of Nova Scotia, may be polluted.

Justice Gerald Moir has scheduled Aug. 15 to consider the breach of the temporary injunction by the three women, while four dates have been set aside in December for the title claim motion.