Nova Scotia

Groups press for delay in Maritime Link hearings

Interveners in the Maritime Link hearings say it would be impossible to review thousands of documents before the end of May.

Interveners swimming in documents which need to be reviewed before hearing

The proposed path of the Maritime Link cable. (Google)

The Nova Scotia government is being urged to delay a public hearing on the Maritime Link project scheduled for the end of May.

The province’s opposition parties, two environmental groups, and a new citizen's group have written letters making the request.

The interveners are complaining they don’t have nearly enough time to evaluate the evidence, or to approach the process responsibly.

"We would call it impossible," said Todd McDonald, who speaks for the Lower Power Rates Alliance, a grassroots citizens group.

"The process is so expedited that on Tuesday of last week – by Wednesday actually - we had 19,000 pages of evidence to review and we had to have follow up questions back to the board by Monday."

"The reason we need to take our time is this has massive implications for our province," McDonald said. "There is no pressing need for Nova Scotia to rush through this in six months."

The Dexter government passed legislation that requires the Utility and Review Board to reach a decision by the end of July – six months after Emera submitted its application to build a $1.5 billion transmission system to bring hydro-electricity from Labrador as part of the Muskrat Falls development.

Twenty-three groups and individuals are expected to take part in the hearings.