Northern Alberta First Nation gets OK to appeal Brion Energy oil sands

EDMONTON — Alberta’s highest court is giving an aboriginal group the OK to appeal regulatory approvals of an oil sands project.The Court of Appeal is permitting the Fort McKay First Nation to challenge go-ahead given to Brion Energy’s plans for a 50,000-barrel-a-day operation northwest of Fort McMurray.The ruling means the First Nation will be allowed to question the Alberta Energy Regulator’s decision not to consider the band’s arguments.The band believes its constitutional rights were violated during the approval process.First Nations have expressed concern that Alberta’s new way of considering developments stops regulators from looking at arguments based on aboriginal rights.Those questions are to be dealt with by a new provincial office, a move that has also been criticized. read more