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N.S. supreme court justice dismisses motion to cancel Lake Pisiquid emergency order – Halifax | Globalnews.ca

The debate over the recent filling of a lake in Windsor, N.S., due to wildfire concerns has made its way to Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Justice Scott Norton heard arguments on Tuesday over a motion to put a stop to the emergency order surrounding Lake Pisiquid, an artificial reservoir.

“There are no winners if I win,” says fisherman Darren Porter. “And there are no winners if I lose.”


Click to play video: 'N.S. government says man-made lake in Windsor will remain filled despite opposition, cites public safety concerns'


N.S. government says man-made lake in Windsor will remain filled despite opposition, cites public safety concerns


The man-made lake was flooded after the province invoked the emergency order on June 1st due to water access worries during the wildfires near Upper Tantallon and in Shelburne County.

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Porter’s lawyer, Richelle Martin of Juniper Law, presented a motion calling for that order to be cancelled because of environmental concerns.

“At the end of the day, we’re up against the government here,” says Porter. “I’m a fisherman and the government is court and there are rules to play by that sometimes feel unfair.”

Porter argues they did not need to fill the lake as other water sources are nearby. He says the aboiteau gates have disturbed Gaspereau fish at the peak of their run and restricted salmon from their routes.

“To go out there and see no fish,” Porter explains. “When we set our nets there is nothing inside that causeway. There’s nothing in our nets. There are a few eels left that can be residents of either side.”


Click to play video: 'Emergency order that allows for N.S. manmade lake to remain until end of wildfire season'


Emergency order that allows for N.S. manmade lake to remain until end of wildfire season


Court heard arguments around whether or not there is an imminent wildfire threat to the region as well as environmental impacts. Other issues concern access to nearby bodies of water like quarries, hydro facilities, and lakes.

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Ultimately, the justice dismissed the motion.

“That means the state of emergency and the declaration to impound water above the causeway remain in place until the hearing of the judicial review,” says Martin.

“It’s a loss for everybody,” reflects Porter. “Our community is divided. The ecosystem is damaged.”

Martin says Tuesday’s decision won’t have an impact on that judicial review hearing and it will still go forward.

A court date has not yet been set for that review.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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