Eagleridge International Ltd: What happens when regulatory approval is granted and then withdrawn after a change of government

  • November 23, 2018
  • Stanley Berger


In Eagleridge International Ltd. v. Newfoundland and Labrador (Environment and Conservation) 2018 NLSC 180following change of government, the new Minister of Environment and Conservation withdrew approval for the construction of a gravel road intended to facilitate mineral exploration on lands for which mining licences were held and ordered that the project be subject to a full environmental assessment (EA).

The licence holder, and project proponent, Eagleridge had already delivered an Environmental Preview Report as required by the previous government, and during the period awaiting approval had incurred approximately $400,000 in expenses including the cost of meeting the conditions for approval. The conditions included an Environmental Effects and Monitoring Plan and a Rare Lichen survey.

A group of interested citizens appealed the previous government's decision to release the project from a full EA. That appeal was filed with the Minister outside the limitation period; the Minister did not issue a decision on the appeal within the prescribed period; and there was no express statutory authority to place the appeal "on hold" during this time.