Mi’kmaq Chiefs Address Approvals for Alton Natural Gas Project
The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs, member to Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO), have undertaken a rigorous consultation and technical review with the Province of Nova Scotia on the Alton Natural Gas LP Brine Storage and Discharge Facility. The priority of the Assembly is always focused on the protection of Mi’kmaq Rights and Title and the environment, knowing that fish and fish habitats are a major concern for their community members, specifically with this project.
Earlier this year, the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia had a Third Party Review of the Alton Gas Project conducted which provided an opportunity for all parties to examine the potential impacts and risks associated with the project.
“There are serious concerns with this project,” said Chief Paul Prosper, Lead Chief of the Assembly’s
Energy Portfolio. “Before any decisions were made by the Province, we wanted to be sure that these concerns were heard and addressed.”
Consultation is not a process to grant approvals, it is a process to identify and address concerns and impacts.
Through consultation, the standards of this project were raised and in the end, it changed aspects of the project design and how it will operate; one major example being the mandatory operational shutdown during spawning seasons to eliminate risks to all fish species.
“Our scientists and conservation organizations attempted to determine if this project is safe by evaluating all the potential associated risks,” continued Prosper. “Some risks can only be evaluated in operation and our continued monitoring program will be there to do just that.”
It is essential that the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia remain involved in this project to see that the environmental protections continue. Consultation will also be required on future Industrial Approvals, on project splitting and conditional approvals.
Many community members still are not comfortable with this project and the Proponent should be talking to the nearby Mi’kmaq communities to address the concerns of the people. The Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia continue to exercise traditional practices of hunting, fishing, and stewardship of the resources and environment in this area and must have all assurances that this project will not jeopardize that.
KMKNO works on behalf of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs in the negotiations and consultations between the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada. The purpose of these negotiations and consultations is to implement our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights from the Treaties signed by our ancestors in the 1700’s.
For more information contact:
Crystal Dorey, Communications Officer Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office Phone: (902) 843-3880
E-mail: [email protected]