LETHBRIDGE, AB – Benga Mining, the Piikani Nation and the Stoney Nakoda Nation are seeking permission on Wednesday (Dec. 8) to appeal the rejection of the Grassy Mountain project.
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) denied a proposal this past spring to build and operate an open-pit coal mine near the Crowsnest Pass.
In a statement released by the Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA), one law expert says, however, there aren’t any grounds for appeal, from either the company or the First Nations.
Nigel Bankes, Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Calgary, says Benga’s legal case only demonstrates that it disagrees with the AER decision, but doesn’t actually question the law itself.
He also says the two First Nations’ counter-argument that the government failed to consult them is weak, as well, pointing to records that show the Piikani and Stoney Nakoda Nations didn’t fully participate in the initial consultations.
Bankes doesn’t think there’s any reason for the Alberta Court of Appeal to grant leave in this case.