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Bilcon Wins NAFTA Dispute over Digby Neck Quarry

Posted March 23, 2015

(John DeMings – Nova News)

Canada has lost a lengthy trade dispute under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement involving the proposed Whites Point quarry on Digby Neck. Bilcon, an American company, had applied to expand a small, existing gravel quarry operation, but was turned down following a joint federal and provincial environmental review panel.

In a statement released Friday, Bilcon of Delaware said the NAFTA tribunal found there was a failure of international law because the joint review panel considered factors outside Canada’s environmental law that were not disclosed to Bilcon during the review process.

The review panel had concluded that the project posed unacceptable risk to the environment and the community, and Nova Scotia Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash then rejected the application to establish Whites Point quarry and its planned marine terminal.

Bilcon is now seeking at least USD $300 million in damages from Canada in the next phase of the NAFTA tribunal hearing. The tribunal hearing was held in Toronto in October 2013 and its decision was announced last week. Click here to read more.