Fort McKay First Nation Disappointed With Court Ruling on Rigel Project, Supporting Province’s Appeal

A decision by Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench over an oilsands project is disappointing one Indigenous group.

A judge ruled on Tuesday that the provincial government had to make a decision on Prosper Petroleum’s Rigel project within the next 10 days.

The Fort McKay First Nation says they were upset to see the decision as they are currently working with the province to develop a plan to better protect the Moose Lake area where the project would be located.

“The Queen’s Bench instruction to Alberta is inappropriate because the Alberta Energy Regulator’s approval of the Rigel project is before the Court of Appeal and a decision whether that approval will stand is expected in the next 60 days,” read a statement from the First Nation.

Earlier this month, the FMFN and the province announced a three-month roadmap to get their Moose Lake plan approved.

It would outline conditions oil companies would have to follow for future development.

“As part of the three-month roadmap to complete the Moose Lake plan, Alberta and Fort McKay will hold monthly leadership meetings and have already begun weekly working sessions to which stakeholders from the oil sands industry, including Prosper, forestry sector and other Indigenous communities have been invited to ensure a high level of collaboration,” read the FMFN statement.

Meanwhile, the province is planning on appealing the court’s decision.

The Fort McKay First Nation says they’re supporting the appeal and will also be applying to intervene.

They add they will consider legal action if necessary.

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