New Brunswick Mi’kmaq chiefs join court challenge to N.L.'s Bay du Nord oil project

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EEL GROUND, N.B. — An organization representing eight Mi’kmaq groups in New Brunswick is joining a court challenge to the federal government's approval of a new offshore oil project in Newfoundland.

Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’tagnn Inc. says a single spill from the Bay du Nord offshore oil development could harm Atlantic salmon.

The group says Ottawa did not fulfil its duty to meaningfully consult with Indigenous communities about the proposed project led by Norway-based Equinor.

The federal government gave Bay du Nord regulatory approval in April, and the project would be located about 500 kilometres northeast of St. John's if Equinor decides to go ahead.

Environmental law group Ecojustice filed an application on May 6 in Federal Court for a judicial review of Ottawa's approval of Bay du Nord's environmental assessment.

The group says Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault didn't consider the greenhouse gas emissions that would be released when the development's estimated 500 million barrels of recoverable oil are burned as fuel.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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