Out of Step

Reference Number

As someone  who has worked as a habitat restoration practitioner with the Nova Scotia Salmon Association for more than twenty years, I have contributed to the NSSA’s response to the revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Beaver Dam mine project.  I am in complete agreement, both professionally and personally, with the concerns articulated in our submission.   The proposed project, situated in the West River watershed, jeopardizes more than two decades of hard work, massive investment, and a pronounced, yet still fragile, recovery of Atlantic salmon –  a COSEWIC-assessed species at risk.   Approval of this project would signify a systemic disregard for wildlife conservation, scientific research, protection of biodiversity, and climate resilience.

The proposed quarry is too close to the Killag River (Cameron Flowage),  and the spatial extent of the proposed work is too large, unnecessarily encroaching on adjacent sub-watersheds. Further, the proponent has not adequately considered effects on the watershed downstream from the mine footprint.

Out of Step the very best industry practises, the watershed will be irrevocably changed, impacting many generations of Atlantic salmon and other aquatic and terrestrial species of concern. Lasting impacts include increased water temperatures, altered hydrology, and disturbed vegetation cover.

Nova Scotia is blessed with beautiful, complex, freshwater ecosystems, but the underlying geology makes our rivers vulnerable to impacts from atmospheric deposition, acid mine drainage, and climate change. This province, in particular, is ill-suited for such a high-impact form of resource exploitation.   Open-pit gold mining is problematic for many, many reasons, and it is out of step with Nova Scotia’s vision for a new and sustainable economy. 

Having spent my working life collaborating with volunteers and  community organizations across Nova Scotia, I feel a responsibility to speak up about this project because of the effort and commitment they have devoted to their rivers. If an industrial development of this scale can be considered for the West River, which is home to a world class watershed restoration project, one might conclude that federally and provincially supported conservation work is meaningless and expendable.

In closing, I am strongly opposed to the proposed Beaver Dam mine project. The West River watershed and adjacent sub-watersheds are valuable and vulnerable resources that need our constant protection.  We stand in solidarity with our partner conservation associations and the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia in opposition to this proposal.

Submitted by
Amy Weston
Public Notice
Public Notice - Public Comments Invited on a Revised Summary of the Environmental Impact Statement
Comment Tags
Indigenous Consultation Method Climate change Accidental Events / Malfunctions Fish and Fish Habitat Species at Risk Wildlife / Habitat Geology / Geomorphology Surface Water Quantity Surface Water Quality General opposition to project Fishing Recreation Purpose of the Project Community / Regional Infrastructure Cumulative effects Biodiversity Current Use of Lands and Resources for Traditional Purposes by Indigenous Peoples Indigenous Rights
Date Submitted
2021-12-17 - 8:41 PM
Date modified: