Once again, hunters will have an opportunity to harvest a Cape Breton moose by submitting applications for the annual moose hunting licence lottery. Selected hunters can participate in one of five hunting seasons. “The Cape Breton moose hunt is popular and the annual moose draw provides a simple, fair way to manage the number of selected hunters per zone,” said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. “We wish all hunters a safe and successful hunting season.” A total of 345 licences will be available again this year. Last year, about 11,000 applicants entered the draw. There are five moose management zones within Victoria and Inverness counties, the only counties in the province where moose hunting is permitted. Hunters applying for the draw must pick the zone and season they want to hunt in before they apply. There are two types of moose hunting available this year. Hunting using motorized vehicles to access and remove moose will be permitted in seasons one and two, in zones one to four and in season five, in zone one. A non-motorized moose hunt is available in seasons one to four, in zone five. Hunters can apply to either or both hunts. If one name is drawn for both, the hunter must choose one. Motorized vehicles are prohibited in zone five. The hunting zones are described online at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/draws/moosedraw . The first four moose hunting seasons will run consecutively, Monday to Saturday, beginning Sept. 24. The fifth season will take place Dec. 11-13. The Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications. The deadline is Saturday, June 16. For $7.40, plus HST, people can apply online at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/draws/moosedraw . Hunters can also apply by calling 1-900-565-3337. They must have their Wildlife Resources Card number available and call from a landline, not a cellphone. The application fee will be charged to the phone. Applications, can also be made by mail with a fee of $12.31, HST included, to Moose Draw, Wildlife Division, Department of Natural Resources, 136 Exhibition St., Kentville, N.S., B4N 4E5. The draw will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 26 at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre. Winners will be notified by mail and their names will be announced at the draw. Applicants can also check draw results online or by calling a local Department of Natural Resources office. More information on the moose hunt is available at Department of Natural Resources offices and online at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/draws/moosedraw/ .
MONTREAL — A judge has suspended exploratory drilling for the TransCanada oil terminal in eastern Quebec after objections by environmentalists.The decision by Quebec Superior Court Justice Claudine Roy to grant a temporary injunction on Tuesday stops the Alberta-based company from conducting seismic surveys in Cacouna until Oct. 15. That work involved studying the composition of the sea bed in that part of the Lower St. Lawrence to determine where the port could be built.The marine terminal would allow TransCanada to export oil transported from the Alberta oilsands as part of its Energy East pipeline project, which has been submitted to the National Energy Board.It is estimated that the equivalent of one million barrels of crude oil would be transported daily through the 4,600-kilometre pipeline to refineries and terminals in Quebec and New Brunswick. TransCanada says Quebec could get tax revenues of more than $2 billion by combining the design and construction phase as well as operation of the pipeline.According to the ruling, Quebec’s Environment Department authorized the drilling without obtaining the answers it was seeking from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.“If the minister did not get the answers to his questions, he should have continued the process or at least explained why he suddenly decided to recommend approval,” the judge wrote.She also noted that “TransCanada provided no specific information on the impact of a suspension of work for that period, other than an economic hardship.”The judge acknowledged it is “unfortunate” the company suffers the consequences of a “perceived deficiency” in the approval process but added she is making her ruling because an endangered species is involved.Roy also criticized Environment Minister David Heurtel, suggesting he had not fullfilled his mandate. “According to the law on environmental quality, the minister, before giving approval, must ensure that the emission of contaminants into the environment will be in accordance with the law and regulations,” she wrote.The decision also pointed out that TransCanada filed its application on May 26 and has refused to sign an assurance that its work will not harm the whales.The four environment groups that petitioned the court wanted work suspended during a period they believe is critical for beluga mothers and their calves in the region.Documents filed by lawyers for the environmentalists alleged that the Quebec and federal governments ignored expert advice about the belugas.TransCanada has argued it had all the proper permits and was sensitive to the belugas in the area. Greenpeace spokesman Patrick Bonin said drilling could resume after Oct. 15 but that TransCanada’s permit is valid until November.“Belugas start to leave the area around the 15th,” he said.He added that environmentalists would like to cancel the permits for the drilling and that hearings on that could begin in February.TransCanada said in a statement Tuesday it is studying the court judgment and that it obtained all the necessary approval and permits to proceed with the work.