EDMONTON – An environmental group is asking again to speak to an oilsands review panel after a court upheld its right to do so.
The Alberta Oilsands Environmental Coalition is asking the province for the right to appear at a regulatory hearing into a project proposed by Southern Pacific Resource Corp. to expand an oilsands facility northwest of Fort McMurray.
When the coalition first asked for that permission, it was denied.
The group appealed that refusal to the courts and won — partly on the strength of a government memo suggesting that permission was withheld because of the group’s critical attitude toward the industry.
Alberta Environment must now decide whether the group’s recreational licence to some land that would be affected by the project is enough of a direct interest to allow them into the hearing.
In his ruling, Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Marceau urged the government to allow a broad range of participants in the hearing.