In Pictou Landing First Nation v. Nova Scotia (Aboriginal Affairs) The Nova Scotia Supreme Court decided on November 29, 2018 that the Province of Nova Scotia had a duty to consult with the Pictou Landing First Nation before deciding whether to provide financial assistance to the owners of an existing pulp mill. The financing would allow the mill to continue to operate into the foreseeable future. This would mean that existing air pollution coming from the mill would continue indefinitely. Since the air pollution has a potential impact on people living nearby and the members of Pictou Landing First Nation live nearby, providing funding to the mill could have an adverse impact on the First Nation. Accordingly, the court found that there was a duty to consult. Relying on the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Carrier Sekani the Province argued unsuccessfully that the since the mill was an existing mill and the air pollution had been emitted for years there was no “novel” impact, the test articulated for existing projects in Carrier Sekani, and therefore no duty to consult. This argument was rightfully rejected by the court.

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