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The Council of Canadians and the Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia (CPONS) are hosting two upcoming events in Shelburne and Lunenburg. See details below.

BP, the company responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, plans to start exploratory drilling in offshore Nova Scotia this spring.

The Council of Canadians and friends are hosting town hall events in Lunenburg and Shelburne to share information about BP’s plans and to mobilize in defense of our coasts and communities. 


Antonia Juhasz, author of Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill

Colin Sproul, fifth generation lobster fisherman and spokesperson for Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association

Peter Puxley, member of Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia 

        Shelburne (facebook event): March 21, 7:00pm. Shelburne Regional High School, 415 Woodlawn Drive

        Lunenburg (facebook event): March 22, 7:00pm. Lunenburg  FIre Hall, 25 Medway Street

For more information: 

[email protected]



Want more details and background material for the tour? Go to https://canadians.org/cpons.

ECELAW is seeking a motivated individual with a passion for the environment and environmental justice to join our Board of Directors in the role of Treasurer. Full description below.

About the East Coast Environmental Law Association (ECELAW):

ECELAW is an environmental law charity. From our office in Halifax, we work throughout Atlantic Canada seeking a clean, healthy environment through public legal education, collaboration and legal action.

  • At ECELAW we make environmental laws and legal options easy to understand for Atlantic Canadians fighting for environmental justice;
  • We collaborate with local, regional and national groups to strengthen and improve environmental laws and ensure those laws are upheld; and
  • We provide direct support to individuals, organizations and communities seeking to defend our environment through the law and legal action.

ECELAW provides information, education and research around environmental law to Atlantic Canadians by:

  • Working with law students, hosting workshops, clinics, and panel presentations;
  • Responding to inquiries from the public about environmental law issues; and
  • Publishing open-access reports and environmental law case summaries on our website.

The Board of Directors meets roughly 6 times per year, on a bi-monthly schedule. Board meetings run approximately 1.5 hours. The Executive meets every 4 weeks, in person or by phone, for 1 hour.

Treasurer Position Description:

  • Be an active Executive Member of the Board of Directors;
  • Manage the financial reporting processes of the organization;
  • Advise the Board on financial management and strategy of the organization;
  • Prepare annual budget with input provided by the Executive Director;
  • Prepare financial reports for each Board meeting;
  • Prepare and present annual financial statements;
  • Prepare and submit annual returns to the CRA; and
  • Advise the Board on investments and banking.

Anticipated Treasurer Time Commitments:

  • Monthly average of roughly 12-15 hours;
  • ECELAW’s current Treasurer will provide guidance and additional support as needed.

Interested Applicants: If you are interested, please contact Craig Beare ([email protected]) and Lisa Mitchell ([email protected]) for more information.

Conversations on climate action, good jobs, and rights for workers and Indigenous communities.

February 27th, 6:30pm – 8:45pm
2158 Gottingen St., Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre
Facebook Event

Nova Scotia needs new goals for climate action, and a new way of looking at climate justice. Groups have called for public engagement on the development of two wide-reaching pieces of climate and environmental policy with the Government of Nova Scotia: the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act and cap-and-trade regulations. The development of these policies provides an opportunity to build a stronger coalition and mobilize to call for goals that will get us closer to climate justice in 2030.

This event will feature a roundtable of speakers from various perspectives on climate change, workers’ transition, Indigenous rights, and other important aspects of climate justice, who will speak to how they imagine climate justice in Mi’kma’ki in 2030. Following the discussion, audience members will be invited to host or participate in small-group discussions about opportunities to act, participate, and mobilize.


Dorene Bernard, Grassroots Grandmothers

Laura Cutmore, Dalhousie Student Union Sustainability Office and Divest Dal

Christine Saulnier, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Sam Krawec, Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council, NSGEU, Solidarity Halifax

Rodney Small, Common Good Solutions

Moderated by:

Robin Tress, Council of Canadians

ClimateJustice2030 Event Feb27

Press release logos 


January 29, 2018

NAFTA tribunal exceeded its jurisdiction when it made determination on what a Canadian environmental assessment panel can decide, groups say.

OTTAWA — Environmental groups are in court today to help Canada challenge a landmark arbitral award brought under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Chapter 11 provision by American corporation, Bilcon.

A NAFTA tribunal held Canada liable for rejecting a bid by Bilcon to build a gravel quarry in the ecologically sensitive coastal area of Digby Neck, N.S. It is estimated that Canada would have to pay more than $500 million, just for protecting the environment in accordance with Canadian law.

“NAFTA tribunals are only supposed to decide questions of NAFTA law,” said Amir Attaran, lawyer at Ecojustice’s law clinic at the University of Ottawa. “They have no business deciding Canadian law and least of all, ordering Canadian taxpayers to compensate an American corporation because its proposed project threatened the environment. We expect the Federal court to put the NAFTA tribunal in its proper place.”

Represented by lawyers from Ecojustice, East Coast Environmental Law (ECELAW) and the Sierra Club Canada will appear as interveners during the legal proceedings.

“Bilcon had the opportunity to have a Canadian court rule on the federal government’s rejection of its project. Instead the company chose to sue Canada for its decision to follow an independent environmental assessment panel’s recommendation to prioritize protecting communities and the environment, and reject the quarry project,” said Lisa Mitchell, Executive Director of East Coast Environmental Law. “If the tribunal’s decision is allowed to stand, it would signal to local communities that no matter how much damage a project might do, their concerns can be essentially overruled by a NAFTA tribunal decision, at great financial cost.”

Bilcon’s proposal for a 120 hectare quarry on Digby Neck, N.S. was to be located 50 metres from the shoreline to facilitate shipping across the Bay of Fundy. This increase in shipping traffic in an ecologically-sensitive environment could put important species, like the endangered North Atlantic right whale, in harm's way — one of the serious threats considered by the environmental assessment panel.

“If government is committed to strengthening our environmental laws, Canada must reverse this decision and close the trade loophole in ongoing NAFTA negotiations,” said Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. “International trade agreements should not supersede the health of Canadians or interfere with our environmental assessment laws and protections.”

Members of ECELAW and Sierra Club Canada Foundation were full participants in the Joint Review Panel that resulted in the decision to reject the proposed quarry — partly on the basis of its adverse impact on the ‘core values’ of the affected communities. The groups provided information and support to the community, brought the concerns to the attention of the public and engaged with experts to provide valuable input on the ecological and socio-economic impacts of the coastal quarry.

For more information, access our backgrounder here.


Amir Attaran, lawyer | Ecojustice law clinic at the University of Ottawa | [email protected]

Lisa Mitchell, Executive Director | East Coast Environmental Law 1-902-670-1113 (mobile) | [email protected]

Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director | Sierra Club Canada Foundation 1-902-444-7096 (mobile) | [email protected]

Independent Environmental Assessment
Petroleum Boards

In the 1984 Hiberina Reference the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Newfoundland does not have jurisdiction over the continental shelf. That decision led the federal government and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to negotiate a legal regime to ensure the province would benefit financially from the development of offshore oil and gas resources. The Atlantic Accord was signed in 1985 and formed the basis for the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act.

For the complete release, please download the pdf here.
You may also find more information here, on the Ecology Action Centre's Website


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