BFIFA takes Cape Sharp project to court, claims it is based on “junk science”

OpenHydro’s tidal turbine at Pictou Shipyard (Photo: Cape Sharp Tidal)

The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association (BFIFA) has filed an application for a judicial review with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, challenging Environment Minister Margaret Miller’s decision from June to approve the project.

The BFIFA claims the project’s effect on the Bay of Fundy should be further studied as the decision to move forward with its development is based on “junk science”. “The baseline science has been determined to be inadequate for the process,” The Canadian Press quotes Colin Sproul, a spokesman for the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association. “Therefore, any future effect of a full-scale installation would be vastly understated, and could lead to the decimation of the Bay of Fundy.” 

Minister Miller commented by saying that the government took into account the fishermen and their concerns. “We did our job as a regulator,” she said.

Nova Scotia’s Energy Minister Michel Samson said the government’s decision to approve the project was based on a process that “wasn’t rushed and allowed for the appropriate consultations to be made”, according to CBC.

The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) spokesman, Matt Lumley, responded to Sproul’s the claims by saying: “He’s implying that (the federal Fisheries Department) believes that baseline data collected is inadequate — but that’s false.”

On 12 August, the BFIFA stated on its social media pages: “The BFIFA is not anti-tidal energy but we will never approve of a project that cannot be accurately assessed for its effects on our way of life.” 

“It’s a sad day for Nova Scotia that the fishermen of this province are being forced to spend their hard-earned dollars to fight their own government to defend environmental integrity,” Sproul said upon the latest move.

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