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UPDATE: Timeline of challenge against Schedule 2 in Federal Court

On June 4, 2010, the Sandy Pond Alliance for the Protection of Canadian Waters (of which the Council of Canadians is a member) launched a Federal Court challenge against the Schedule 2 metal mining effluent regulations created through a Canada’s Fisheries Act amendment. The Sandy Pond Alliance argues that the regulations are contrary to the intent of the Fisheries Act because they permit the destruction of freshwater fish habitat and unique biodiversity. Or in other words, because the Fisheries Act says it is against the law to harm fish-bearing waters, the Schedule 2 amendment should not be allowed to violate the act itself.

We’ve just met with Sandy Pond Alliance lawyer Owen Myers and, in terms of dates, we now know:

January 23-24: Vale and the Mining Association of Canada cross-examine our witness John Gibson, a former Department of Fisheries and Oceans scientist
January 31: the cross-examination of Gibson must be completed
February 29: we will file all of our court documents
March 30: the respondent (the federal government, which has three witnesses) and the interveners (Vale and the Mining Association of Canada/ Mining Association of British Columbia, which have about seven witnesses) submit their documents
April 6: we serve a requisition for a hearing
April 13, tbc: a court date is likely to be set
June or September, tbc: a 2-3 Federal Court of Canada hearing will be held

The ruling could come weeks or months after the court date. The Vale plant that would dump approximately 400,000 tonnes of tailings annually into Sandy Pond is to be completed in 2013.

For more on the campaign to save Sandy Pond, please see our web-page at, and the Sandy Pond Alliance website at