FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2016
Clarification Regarding Alton Natural Gas Storage Project
(INDIAN BROOK FIRST NATION, NS) – On July 4, 2016 Alton posted two media releases on its website.
Sipekne’katik is providing the following to clarify any misperceptions.
Sipekne’katik was in court on June 22, 2016 to appeal the Minister of Environment’s decision to deny the Band’s appeal of the Industrial Approval granted by Brad Skinner in January 2016. Simply stated, the issue on June 22 was regarding a stay application (to prevent brining) until the appeal of the Minister’s decision was determined regarding the release of brine.
Correspondingly there was no request before Justice Wood to consider other aspects of the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project other than the release of salted water (brine) into the Shubenacadie River System and the potential for irreparable harm from this questionable and controversial operation.
Although the construction was not covered by the appeal, Sipekne’katik wishes to make it clear that the Band does not want Alton to proceed with the construction until the decision of the Court on our appeal is made. If the Band is successful in its appeal, the approval of the brining operation will be cancelled. Alton should wait until that decision is made.
Sipekne’katik’s appeal hearing on this matter is scheduled for August 17 and 18, 2016 at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax.
Sipekne’katik remains committed to the protection and preservation of resources within the Shubenacadie River System. On June 28, 2016 the Band submitted a petition for an emergency order under Section 80 of the Species at Risk Act to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to protect the Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon (iBoF Salmon). The petition seeks to legally protect the migration corridor of the iBoF Salmon by a Critical Habitat Order. The critical habitat sought for the iBoF Salmon is the Stewiacke and Shubenacadie Rivers, including the tidal portion of the Shubenacadie Estuary to the confluence with the Stewiacke River, as well as the Minas Passage and into the Chignecto Bay.
Sipekne’katik has Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, and has never sold, ceded, nor surrendered any of its traditional territory. As such Sipekne’katik takes its duty to protect and preserve the natural resources found within the Shubenacadie River System for future generations very seriously.
Sipekne’katik is a Mi’kmaq Band in Nova Scotia with over 2,600 members throughout Mi’kma’ki. Sipekne’katik represents itself in all consultation and negotiation matters that concern Sipekne’katik.
For more information, contact:
Chief Rufus Copage
Phone: 902.758.2049 ext. 222