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Transport Canada moving to rescind approval for Dartmouth Cove infill project: minister’s office

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Transport Canada has begun the steps for rescinding its approval for the Dartmouth Cove infill project that has caused much back and forth between locals and officials.

In an email to CTV Atlantic News late Wednesday afternoon, the minister of transport’s office confirmed the department has started the process of rescinding approval.

In beginning this process, the department has conceded on the application for judicial review brought by the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), which is headquartered nearby the proposed infill site.

COVE recently filed the application in federal court.

The government reached out to COVE and the developer to seek their consent to stop the judicial review process, rescind the decision, and restart the consultations, read the email from the minister's office.

Under the Canadian Navigable Waters Act, Transport Canada renders decisions related to the impacts on navigation only and does not evaluate the overall use or merits of a given project.

Dartmouth Cove can be accessed by Maitland Street and a cycling and pedestrian path. It's currently used as a park space.

The email ends saying Transport Canada will continue to co-operate with the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) on any potential regulations they put forward.

Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP Darren Fisher shared his approval of the decision through a letter posted to his website and social media accounts.

In the post, Fisher said he wrote a letter to the minister of transport in April, asking him to rescind approval for the project, adding he firmly believes “Transport Canada failed to meet their mandate.”

He said the infill project would have seen nearly seven acres of the cove filled in with pyritic slate from construction sites in the region.

"I spoke with the minister and learned that on Friday, Transport Canada began the process to rescind their approval, resetting the clock on their consultation process," read the letter. "This is a win for our community, but Dartmouth Cove isn’t protected, yet."

The transport minister's office said the HRM has an opportunity to introduce a municipal bylaw concerning infills, similar to what was done with the Northwest Arm.

Fisher agrees that is the best way to protect the Dartmouth Cove from unnecessary infill projects now and in the future.

Dartmouth Cove is pictured. (Paul Hollingsworth/CTV Atlantic)

In April, Transport Canada gave approval for Atlantic Road Construction and Paving to dump approximately 100,000 cubic metres of pyritic slate into the cove, angering many locals in the area.

However, the infill proposal by Atlantic Road Construction and Paving still required approval from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) before infilling could be considered.

The DFO confirmed to CTV News last week they informed the road construction company more time was needed for public consultation and extended its review time.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

Correction

This is a corrected story. The previous version of this story did not clearly convey the Minister of Transport’s statement and mistakenly attributed some information to that office. We regret the error.

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