The Community of Conklin Wins its Opposition to Secure Energy Services Inc.’s Proposed Landfill Near the Community

The community of Conklin successfully opposed Secure Energy Service’s (“Secure”) appeal of the decision of the development authority, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (“RMWB”) that refused Secure’s development application for a Class II landfill within 500 metres of the Hamlet of Conklin’s Area Structure Plan and within 2 kilometres of existing residences in Conklin. The development authority denied the application on two grounds namely lack of community support and absence of environmental impacts assessment.

The proposed site was used by the Conklin Métis for berry picking, traditional medicines, cultural camps, and other cultural events. The community of Conklin opposed the development because of its interference with their existing use of the sites for traditional and cultural practices.

Secure appealed the decision of the development authority to the Subdivision and Appeals Board, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (“SDAB”). The SDAB issued its decision on November 22, 2019. Our partner, Ifeoma M. Okoye, represented the community of Conklin at the SDAB hearing.

The SDAB denied the appeal on grounds that the landfill was incompatible with Conklin’s existing uses of the lands and was too close to Conklin. While recognizing that it does not have jurisdiction to determine constitutional matters, the SDAB determined that it had jurisdiction to assess the compatibility of the proposed development on the uses which the community of Conklin make of the lands. The jurisdiction was founded on the RMWB’s Municipal Development Plan, which the Board must comply with.

For a full review of the RMWB SDAB decision, please click here

Secure subsequently appealed the SDAB decision to the Alberta Court of Appeal but withdrew its permission to appeal application prior to its hearing. With the withdrawal of the appeal, the SDAB decision is FINAL.

We congratulate the Conklin Métis Local 193, the Conklin Resource Development Committee, the Conklin Community Association and our partner, Ifeoma M. Okoye on this significant win for the community.