June 10, 2019 2:05 pm
Updated: June 10, 2019 4:55 pm

Contempt case for Indigenous women arrested at Alton Gas site delayed

WATCH: Mi'kmaw grandmothers were shocked on Monday at the size of the courtroom in Halifax where dates would be set for their contempt hearing later this year. As Elizabeth McSheffrey reports, they said they didn't “feel safe” without room for all their supporters to join them as their lawyer defends against Alton Gas.

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A contempt of court hearing for three Indigenous women arrested in April at a rural construction site north of Halifax has been shifted from late summer to December.

The women’s lawyer, Michael McDonald, says he plans to argue before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court that his clients had the right to be on Alton Natural Gas property along the Shubenacadie River.

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McDonald says his arguments in December will be based on a 1752 treaty with the Crown and an aboriginal title claim for the lands currently being used by Alton Gas.

Originally scheduled for Aug. 15, the hearing into the alleged breach of a temporary injunction to stay off the land is now set for Dec. 16-17.

WATCH: Alton Gas fortifies fences after removal of Mi’kmaw grandmothers

During Monday’s hearing, Justice John Bodurtha formally added the names of the three defendants, Darlene Gilbert, Madonna Bernard and Paula Isaac, to the temporary injunction order that bars protesters from the work site.

READ MORE: Canada’s Inuit release climate plan to counter ‘life-and-death situation’

Alton Gas plans to use water from the tidal river to create large underground storage caverns.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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