Nova Scotia considering ruling on duty to consult Mi'kmaq in mill case: premier

Premier Stephen McNeil is hinting his government may appeal a Nova Scotia Supreme Court decision that says the province must consult with a Mi'kmaq community about how public money is provided to the Northern Pulp mill's effluent treatment plant.

McNeil told reporters Tuesday his government is examining the ruling by Justice Timothy Gabriel and would "have more to say" on the matter.

He says he doesn't believe the province has a duty to consult in this particular case.

Gabriel ruled Friday that if the province becomes a financial backer of the effluent treatment plant, that raises questions on whether the level of funding will mean "upgraded safeguards" in light of what the people of Pictou Landing First Nation have endured.

Gabriel said if the government consults on environmental aspects of the plant's construction, it should take a "holistic" approach and also consult on the financing it is willing to provide.

McNeil says he believes any dealing in this case is the responsibility of the government alone, because of its liability in closing the Boat Harbour treatment plant.