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MEA judicial review heard at NS Supreme Court today

Lake Ainslie is part of the Margaree river system, which was designated a Canadian Heritage River in 1998 due to its’ natural and cultural value of Canadian importance. It is the largest lake in Nova Scotia (located in Inverness County, Cape Breton) and part of an ecosystem home to many different species and is a nesting ground for bald eagles.

Marilyn, Robert, Neal, Angela (CofC) and Bryan of the MEA (at the press conference, 26June2012)

The Margaree Environmental Association (MEA), of which there are 180 members including local residents, local business owners, and other environmental organizations, has launched a judicial appeal to reverse a Ministerial granting of a permit to allow the drilling of an exploratory oil well in West Lake Ainslie. The Council of Canadians has also contributed to this case.

Petroworth, a junior exploration company, secured a lease of land to drill the exploratory well proposed in West Lake Ainslie. The Minister granted a permit to Petroworth last year, and they have applied for extensions to the permit twice since the original was granted.

After the MEA’s press conference yesterday afternoon, several news reports have come out:

Robert Parkins, speaking about the proposed drill site (200m from his home)

-(The Chronicle Herald reposted a Canadian press piece. It was also posted on the Daily Business Buzz.)
–  Cape Breton Post
–  another Cape Breton Post article
Halifax Media Coop

At the NS Supreme Court today, there were a few issues raised connected to the MEA case, but the main crux of the argument is that the Minister erred in granting the permit and did not do due diligeance regarding placement of watercourses and proximity of homes to proposed drill site. (I was only able to stay for the morning so did not get to see the MEA lawyer wrap up, nor did I get to see the crown’s lawyer present their case.)

My expectation after leaving was that the case would not be completed and handed over to the judge to make his ruling this afternoon, so I will send updates regarding this including possible future date scheduled to complete the judicial review.

Members of the MEA speak with their lawyer Derek Simon (Burchells) after breaking for lunch