Protesters object to development of Cape Breton mountain sacred to Mi’kmaq

BADDECK, N.S. — Dozens of protesters are taking a stand against mining projects on a Cape Breton mountain that is sacred to the Mi’kmaq.

Raymond Plourde of the Ecology Action Centre says traffic on Cape Breton’s Seal Island Bridge was slowed in response to Saturday’s rally against mining or quarrying of Kellys Mountain.

Elizabeth Marshall of Eskasoni First Nation says the mountain in Victoria County, which is protected by the Kluscap Wilderness Area, is sacred to the Mi’kmaq.

The Nova Scotia Mining Association has expressed hope that the provincial government will revisit the status of the protected area to strike a better balance between preserving land and creating jobs.

Sean Kirby, the mining association’s executive director, says in a statement that there is no proposal to build a quarry on the mountain, but reviving the shelved project could create 80 jobs.

Plourde dismissed the mining association’s concerns about protected areas impeding economic opportunities, saying that 80 per cent of the province is free to be developed.

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