Minister's Response


The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Active Transit (formerly The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal) is proposing to twin and upgrade approximately 9.5 kilometres of an existing two-lane section of Highway 101. The upgrades also include constructing bridges over the Avon River and a new tidal gate structure (aboiteau) to control tidal flow. The proposed project is located in Hants County between Three Mile Plains and Falmouth, Nova Scotia.


Non-designated project


Under the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), I, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, must not make a designation if the carrying out of the physical activity has substantially begun, or if a federal authority has exercised a power or performed a duty or function conferred on it under any Act of Parliament –other than the IAA– that could permit the physical activity to be carried out, in whole or in part. Therefore, the Minister cannot designate the Project for the following reasons:

  • Construction of the Project, including the aboiteau and bridges, has substantially begun.
    • Phase I construction (the twinning and upgrading of the existing highway, which included a new embankment and infill material to create a new causeway) has been completed and is directly linked to and has been done in preparation for the construction in Phase II (the aboiteau and bridges).
    • The completed infilling and widening on either side of the Avon River is essential to construct the proposed aboiteau and the bridges. The bridges are dependent on the construction of the aboiteau for flood protection. The aboiteau and bridges do not stand alone and are essential parts of the Project as a whole.
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada issued a permit for the Project.
    • A permit was issued for Phase I of the Project, which authorized activities that allowed the completion of construction in Phase I. Phase I was necessary for the construction to proceed in Phase II, which includes the aboiteau and bridges.

Document Reference Number: 3

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