In 2015, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs, through KMKNO, signed a Socio-Economic Agreement (SEA) with Nova Scotia Power Maritime Link Inc. (NSPML). This SEA was developed to strengthen the working relationship between the Assembly and NSPML, to foster collaboration, and to support the Mi’kmaq to enhance capacity.
NSPML is proposing to design, construct, and operate a new 500 megawatt transmission line, and associated infrastructure, between Granite Canal, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Woodbine, Nova Scotia. Project construction will take place over several years commencing in 2013 with completion planned for late 2016 and site exit late 2017 when fully commissioned.
Memski Projects Inc. (www.memski.ca) has been sub-contracted and will be overseeing this project on behalf of the 12 Mi’kmaq communities, which are part of KMKNO. Memski’s responsibilities will be to work with industry and suppliers, determine needs and gaps, recommend training and/or programs for the Mi’kmaq, and to monitor Mi’kmaq employment targets for this project.
Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR) has also been sub-contracted to oversee Environmental Monitoring of this project. NSPML filed a comprehensive Environmental Assessment Report for the Project in January 2013 which underwent extensive engagement with, and input from, KMKNO. In 2012 Membertou Geomatics was contracted to conduct a Mi’kmaq Ecological Knowledge Study (MEKS), with a second MEKS completed in December 2013, once the landing site for cable was finalized.
NSPML also contracted UINR to conduct a Unama’ki Fisheries Study, which KMKNO recommend be expanded to include all of the Mi’kmaq communities in Nova Scotia. UINR subcontracted both Membertou Geomatics and Mi’kmaw Conservation Group to assist in obtaining the research on fisheries. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and Nova Scotia Environment released the Project from environmental assessment in June, 2013.