Bilcon Inc., an American construction firm, has launched a challenge under the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) that claims an environmental review panel had an anti-foreign bias when it recommended against allowing a quarry in western Nova Scotia. Bilcon had proposed a basalt quarry on a 152 hectare site approximately 30 kilometers southwest of Digby at White Point, N.S, which was bitterly opposed by a local citizens group.
The claim seeks $188 million in compensation, and in part alleges that the length of the project approval process compared to the much shorter timelines for approval of similar projects during the same time period is evidence of unequal treatment. Bilcon claims the regulatory and process requirements continually changed during this period, and the environmental panel’s “biased, flawed recommendations” were eventually followed without question.
The case will likely focus on whether the company received “fair and equitable” treatment as defined under Section 11 of NAFTA. The trade dispute process can take up to two years to complete.
- Senior Consultant
Chris advises on acquisitions and dispositions of mines and mining companies, project development and mine operations throughout Canada and the world. He has assisted in the structuring and negotiation of hundreds of ...
Christine practices environmental and Indigenous law, providing advice in respect of major project development, environmental assessment, permitting, operational matters and acquisition and sale of industrial projects.
Lawson Lundell's Environmental, Indigenous and Natural Resources Blog focuses on environmental, indigenous and natural resources law, as well as related litigation. Included are summaries of significant cases from Canadian appellate courts, changes in the legal framework governing resource development including energy and climate change policy, and key decisions from the more influential regulatory bodies in Canada.
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