After Alberta Court denies Benga/Northback’s request for judicial review of no to billionaire Gina Rinehart’s destructive Grassy Mountain coalmine because of risks to drinking water for millions of Canadians, Harper judge, ex-Irving Shipping lawyer Richard Southcott, Federal Court, says yes (for additional First Nation consultations; dismisses Benga’s application in clear loss for the company).

Richard Southcott was made federal judge by Steve Harper (lover of polluters, hater of Canada and the environment), 5 months before Harper lost 2015 election.

Will Benga/Northback ever give up, and go home?

AER better be planning to deny Benga/Northback’s sleazy second attempt, likely coached by UCP/TBA. Snap below taken Feb 13, 2024, from Alberta’s River Basin website: (Click on “51” in purple in header to access this visual):


The Federal Court has dismissed Benga’s JR application re the Grassy Mountain Project, but also concluded that Canada breached legitimate expectations owed to the Piikani and Stoney-Nakoda Nations.

The matter is referred back to the Minister for redetermination following the required consultation. [204] The Court anticipates that any such consultation can be brief and efficient while still meaningful. [205] No need to reconstitute the JRP or revisit its processes [206]

Martin Z. Olszynski @molszyns:

Bizarre. I am going to read the decision and come back to this thread.

Martin Z. Olszynski @molszyns:

OK I am back. This is a 100% loss for Benga and a clear win for those believing in, and advocating for, robust impact assessment.

Federal Court allows judicial review of southern Alberta coal mine denied by panel, Company lost earlier attempt to seek review from Alberta Court of Appeal by Bob Weber, The Canadian Press, Feb 14, 2024, CBC

A Federal Court ruling Tuesday has thrown out a decision from federal Environmental Minister Steven Guilbeault denying a permit for an open-pit coal mine in the Alberta Rockies.

The ruling, which comes in response to two Alberta First Nations, will force Guilbeault to revisit the issue after consulting with the bands on the economic benefits of the proposed mine.

The company hoping to develop the mine, Benga Mining, also requested the decision be reviewed. It was denied.

The court ruled that the Piikani and Stoney First Nations never received a consultation opportunity they had been promised by the federal-provincial panel that reviewed Benga’s application.

In his ruling, Judge Richard Southcott said the joint federal-provincial review panel that examined the Grassy Mountain proposal near Crowsnest Pass didn’t live up to the consultation promises it made.

Southcott said the review panel released its report and delivered it to Guilbeault on June 17, 2021. In a news release that day, the panel promised that both First Nations would be consulted again before the minister delivered his decision.

However, about five weeks later, the panel issued a final report to the minister, stating that consultation was complete.

“This report stated that the (federal Impact Assessment) Agency considered the consultation process conducted to date to be reasonable and properly implemented, and that affected Indigenous communities were given sufficient opportunity to express their views and share concerns throughout the process,” Southcott wrote.

But he said that deprived the First Nations of the opportunity they had been promised to present arguments on the impact and benefit agreements they had reached with Benga.$$$$$?

“In my view, the representation in the news release supports the First Nation applicants’ position that they had a legitimate expectation that they would receive the benefit of further consultation before the decisions were made,” Southcott wrote.

“Once the news release gave rise to a legitimate expectation that such procedure would be followed, that procedure was required by the duty of fairness, and the First Nation applicants were entitled to take advantage of the opportunity.”Unfucking believable.

The ruling now obliges Guilbeault to rescind his earlier decision and revisit it after the promised consultation.

“The minister’s decision will be set aside and the matter referred back to the minister for redetermination following the required consultation,” the decision says.

The company, now known as Northback, earlier lost an attempt to seek judicial review from the Alberta Court of Appeal and was denied permission to take that request to the Supreme Court.

However, Northback is still attempting to develop a mine at Grassy Mountain and holds exploration permits for the area. It has applied to the Alberta Energy Regulator to develop the mine.

Although the provincial United Conservative government has imposed a moratorium on all coal development along that cherished landscape, Northback maintains that its application under the name Benga should allow it to be considered an “advanced project” and as such, exempt.The legal bullying by billionaires and their lawyers *and* judges, refusing to heed “No” never ceases to amaze me.

Douglas Rae, whose firm represented the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, said it’s not clear what happens next.Up to the lying racist supreme court of Canada or another “NO!” along with two cases each of mugs to the two First Nations and Gina: one case of “Fuck You Kenney Mountains not Mines” mugs and the other case of “Mountains Not Mines” mugs.

Refer also to:


Grassy Mountain is not an “advanced” coal project.

There is no such thing.

Only nostalgic coal projects.

2023 12 22: Benga Mining Limited/Northback has application for judicial review dismissed by Alberta Court of King’s Bench

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