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Halfway River Construction Begins as a Result of Consultation with Mi’kmaq

Press Release

March 20, 2019

Through consultation, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs (Assembly) provided recommendations to the Province, leading to significant changes in the go forward plan for the historical Halfway River Aboiteau in Hantsport, Nova Scotia.

“As Rights holders, we have a unique voice and perspective that must be heard,” said Chief Sidney Peters, Co-Chair of the Assembly and leader of the Glooscap Mi’kmaw Community. “Our access to fish and traditional-use activities is extremely important and cannot be impacted by development. Nova Scotia’s initial plan for Halfway River certainly needed to be re-examined.”

For several years, the Halfway River Aboiteau has been in disrepair and malfunctioning. In November 2017, the wooden aboiteau structure failed completely and due to this, the Halfway River began to aggressively re-establish to a natural tidal marsh river which led to severe erosion. In 2018, that the Province notified the Assembly that they had planned to replace the fill over the existing culverts, and fill in the hole up to grade, cutting off the river.

The proposed solution was unacceptable. The Assembly saw that infilling was insufficient, extremely detrimental to a complex saltwater marsh ecosystem and would negatively impact Mi’kmaq Rights.

“We needed to ensure that a free-flowing culvert was installed at Halfway River, to prevent any potential impacts to fish and fish habitat,” continued Chief Peters. “We are pleased to say that consultation with the Mi’kmaq led NSTIR to the plan that they have today.”

The revised plan will see the culvert replaced allowing for year-round, unimpeded fish passage, and contribute to the restoration of crucial saltwater marsh habitat. NSTIR will be exploring alternative methods for bank stabilization, and has committed to working with Mi’kmaq environmental organizations to develop post-monitoring studies and a fish monitoring program for Halfway River, which is welcomed news to the Assembly.

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For more information contact:

Crystal Dorey
Communication Officer
Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office
902-843-3880
[email protected]

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