This application was heard before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board ("NSUARB")
In this application, the applicant, Bear Paw Pipeline Corporation Inc. ("Bear Paw"), sought a permit under the Pipeline Act to build a natural gas pipeline and related facilities. There were a number of Intervenors to the application, including the Native Council of Nova Scotia.
The first issue before the NSUARB was whether Bear Paw would be able to acquire the rights to build on the land where the corporation wished to build the pipeline. The Board found that it was likely that the corporation would be able to acquire the rights, as the chosen properties already had two pipelines crossing over them. Next, the NSUARB considered Bear Paw's ability to acquire the necessary permits to build, including an environmental assessment approval. On this issue, the Native Council of Nova Scotia raised a number of concerns relating to the potential environmental impacts of the project, but the NSUARB found that the assessment processes would contend with the Council's concerns, and it also found efforts to obtain other permits had been successful so far. The Board then considered the socio-economic benefit of the pipeline, concluding that it would be a net benefit to the province through factors such as job creation and tax revenues. The NSUARB also found that the applicant had sufficiently engaged in public consultation, though on the issue of consultation with Indigenous peoples, the NSUARB ordered Bear Paw to continue to engage in regular consultation with the Native Council of Nova Scotia. The NSUARB also considered Bear Paw's compliance with the Pipeline Act, finding that the applicant’s intent was to comply with the Act. Finally, the NSUARB accepted a number of safety provisions that had been put forward by the certifying authority designated to oversee the design and construction of the pipeline. Ultimately, the NSUARB granted Bear Paw's application.
The issue before the NSUARB was raised again in Bear Paw Pipeline Corporation Inc. (Re), 2016 NSUARB 162.