Allegations surface about weapons and scuffles at Alton Gas riverside site

The company that wants to build natural gas storage caverns north of Halifax has levelled fresh allegations against protesters camped on its land for years, saying some are armed with knives, ``which could be used a weapons.''

Alton Gas alleges in court documents that access to a site near the Shubenacadie River has been impeded by protesters since 2016, which is why Alton has asked the Nova Scotia Supreme Court for an order to remove them.

The company submitted an application for an injunction on Friday, and included a lengthy affidavit from an Alton Gas manager who alleges he was involved in a scuffle with one protester in October.

Robert Turner, manager of stakeholder relations, says he recently concluded the protest camp is an unsanitary mess and an unsafe fire hazard.

He says the company is concerned that repair work at the site can't proceed until the Mounties are handed a court order they can enforce.

A spokeswoman for Indigenous protesters and their allies could not be immediately reached for comment, but Doreen Bernard has previously denied allegations that workers have been blocked from entering the site.

For the past 12 years, the company has been planning to pump water from the river to an underground site 12 kilometres away, where it will be used to flush out salt deposits, creating huge caverns that will eventually store natural gas.