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Pictou Landing Band Council Files Lawsuit Against Nova Scotia

by Pictou Landing Band Council

Pictou   Landing   Band   Council

July 8, 2010


The Chief and Council of the Pictou Landing First Nation announced today that the Community has taken the first step towards suing the Province of Nova Scotia over the pollution of Boat Harbour. On June 30, 2010 Pictou Landing First Nation’s lawyers, Wickwire Holm, delivered a Notice of Intended Action to the Province. Anyone suing the Province is required to give notice of the intended lawsuit 60 days before the suit is commenced pursuant to s. 18 of the Proceedings Against the Crown Act. The Notice of Intended Action sets out the claims that the Pictou Landing First Nation will make against the Province and will ask the Court to find that the Boat Harbour Treatment Facility creates a nuisance and will ask for an injunction to shut it down. Chief and Council are now in a position to start a lawsuit on August 31, 2010.

In 1967 the Province built an industrial wastewater treatment facility at Boat Harbour adjacent to the Pictou Landing First Nation community. The treatment facility was operated by the Province until 1995 to treat the waste water from the pulp mill at Abercrombie Point. In 1995 operation of the treatment facility was turned over to the owner of the mill under a lease/license agreement with the Province.
This step towards a law suit was taken by Chief and Council after the Province failed to follow through on a commitment contained in a letter dated December 4, 2008 in which it agreed to relocate the treatment facility.

In the letter the Province stated, “To say that the Band has been long suffering would be a masterful understatement of the obvious. It is our unwavering intention to end that suffering as quickly as possible. It should have been done long ago.”

On April 19,2010, after months of inaction by the Dexter Government, lawyers for the Pictou landing First Nation demanded that the Province revoke the license allowing effluent to be dumped into Boat Harbour and set June 30, 2010 as the deadline. On June 16, 2010 Chief and Council instructed the lawyers to proceed with the lawsuit if the license was not revoked by June 30, 2010.

Pictou Landing is prepared to negotiate a solution with the Province but ant such negotiations will now take place alongside the lawsuit.

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