A Nova Scotia subsidiary has granted a temporary ban to stop fishermen from blocking survey boats hired to investigate a route for a drainage pipeline.
The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia Denise Boudreau ruled that the fishermen are entitled to "legal protest" but they do not have the legal right to block the survey vessels from doing their work.
Attorneys for the Northern Pulp Factory in Northern Nova Scotia claimed that their projects were unlawfully held back by the fishermen's blockades.
Before the decision was handed over, approximately 80 people gathered outside the Halifax Courthouse to protest against the proposed pipeline that would pump treated waste directly in Northumberland Strait near Abercrombie, N.S.
Kathy Cloutier, a spokeswoman for Northern Powder's parent company, Paper Excellence Canada, confirmed that the mill was seeking an interim ban to prevent blockages of investigations in Northumberland Strait.
A group of fishermen has stated that they would block all survey vessels from entering the strait.
The plan to pump treated effluents from its Abercrombie, N.S., mill in the strait has raised fishermen's ears, P.E.I. government and even Hollywood actor Ellen Page, who is from Halifax.
The wider Gulf of St. The Lawrence fishing area is home to lobster and crab fish that brought over $ 1.2 billion catch in 2016.
The Nova Scotia government has undertaken to stop the flow of wastewater into the heavily polluted boat harbor lagoon by January 31, 2020. The lagoon is located next to Pictou Landing First Nation.
Outside the Halifax courtroom, the protests showed signs that said "No mess in the sound" and they chanted "All I Want for Christmas is No Touch".
Warren Francis, a 49-year-old fisherman and member of Pictou Landing First Nation, said before the conviction was made that other protests would follow if a ban was granted.
"I do not think it will stop us," he said. "My first nation has to get up … We do not want a pipeline in that stretch … I really hope that it will not come down to violence."
Ben Chisholm, a 65-year-old businessman for pipefitters union, said he came to the court building to support the position of use because millions of dollars in economic activity could get lost if the mill was closed.
"There is more support to keep the mill open and clean it than it is to close it," he said, when the protest chamber rang out nearby.
"When a large plant closes in an area, it is followed by poverty. There is nothing to replace this."