Mi'kmaq community hold fishing derby to stop natural gas project

By Lynette Amoroa

A group of Mi 'kmaq fishers and their families held a fishing derby recently in an effort to stop a natural gas project.

They're concerned about the impact of this industry on a major river in the province that is home to fish and other aquatic life.  People in the area are also concerned about how the project was approved.

When the strongest tide in the world rushes up the Shubenacadie River it comes in fast.

The Alton gas company is carving out underground salt caverns to store natural gas.

The resulting brine will be released into the river at high tide.  The Mi'kmaq are trying to stop it.

They worry what it will do to the river.  The Sipekne'katik band is considering legal action.

The Alton gas company has met with the assembly of chiefs and other groups but Mi'kmaq leaders say that consultation hasn't been meaningful and people in the communities say no one has talked to them.

Some are pointing their fingers at the Mi'kmaq leaders who sit at the negotiation table.

The maritime aboriginal people’s council is following the project closely.  Its director says consultation can be tricky for an industry unfamiliar with aboriginal organisations and this is definitely what the people at the fishing derby think.

The company says its door is always open for any future talks.  The Mi'kmaq chiefs don’t want any further permits issued until they know more.