Mixed reactions for postponing of seismic testing at Donkin Mine
After a sudden decision to postpone controversial seismic testing at the Donkin Mine in Nova Scotia, Maritimers are expressing both caution and relief.
The company operating the mine, Kameron Coal, announced Friday that it’s putting off the polarizing project until 2018.
The company faced significant public backlash from both fishermen and First Nations who argue the tests would harm fisheries.
Fishermen’s representative, Herb Nash says he’s relieved the project has been put off.
“We’re tickled pink with it,” he says. “We couldn’t be happier that Kameron Coal stopped it, right now and we really appreciate their effort.”
The decision came shortly after a heated public meeting was held Tuesday in protest of the two weeks of seismic testing planned in the waters surrounding the mine.
The company made its decision despite studies presented by the Department of Fisheries and oceans biologists, indicating the seismic blasts wouldn't seriously harm fisheries.
Gary Taje is an international representative for United Mine Workers of America and he feels the turn of events could hurt the mine in the short term, but will eventually even itself out.
"They have good data to pull on and I don't think it will have a big impact on the future of that mine to hold it off for a year,” Taje says.
Kameron Coal says its seismic testing will go ahead as planned sometime next year despite any backlash. Nash says he’s hopefully they’ll be able to come up with a solution by then.
"I'm hoping we can deal with them before next year,” says Nash. “I'd love to meet with them with a few more fishermen because they are good people."
He’s hopeful they can find middle ground shared by the chair of the Donkin Mine community liaison committee.
Paul Carrigan from the committee says he thinks an agreement will be reached.
"I think they will continue to get pushback from fishers,” Carrigan says. “At the same time, if these tests have to be done in order for the mine to move forward and for safety in the mine.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.