As a US-based company, Bilcon had the option of seeking a review of the Canadian decision via the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which they pursued. In March 2015, a NAFTA Tribunal determined that Bilcon had been treated unfairly and should be compensated by Canada for losses associated with their proposed project. In June 2015, the government of Canada applied to the Federal Court of Canada to have the NAFTA tribunal decision set aside. ECELAW is an intervenor in this case, championing the perspective of those most directly affected by the efforts of Bilcon to develop a coastal quarry and marine terminal in their community.
Like preparing for a cold day outside, a case like this has many layers; most of those come in the form of pre-hearing motions. With one of those motions, Bilcon asked the court to stay the proceedings (i.e. put everything on hold) until after the NAFTA Tribunal determined the amount of compensation that Bilcon should receive from Canada. ECELAW is very happy to announce that after many months and an appeal of the initial decision, Bilcon lost their motion. We hoped that this meant the dates for the full Federal court hearing would soon be set. This is a small victory in a very long process, but it is a victory nonetheless. We received word late last week that Bilcon will appeal the decision on the stay motion to a higher level of court; and so we work through another layer. Working with our colleagues at the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation and our lawyers at Ecojustice, we are committed to seeing this case through no matter how long it takes.
ECELAW’s ability to intervene in this matter depends on donations from supporters like you. Pease donate today.
Executive Director & Senior Lawyer
East Coast Environmental Law