A Canadian sore spot -- aboriginal affairs -- on Wednesday triggered a regulatory pause liable to impose project changes on the plan to launch liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments overseas from Goldboro LNG on the Atlantic coast.

Over objections by export terminal sponsor Pieridae Energy, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) scheduled a hearing for Oct. 15 in Halifax on a demand for attention by a branch of the Mi'kmaq community, the Sipekne'katik First Nation.

Issues up for scrutiny at the UARB’s special session include defining the agency’s native affairs jurisdiction and the extent of tribal consultation required before the provincial government grants final project approvals.

The board is reviewing a construction application by Goldboro LNG.

The UARB called the special native hearing after the Sipekne’tik prodded the Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs into requesting a response to a claim that the Canadian constitution requires “deep” consultation on Goldboro LNG.

In correspondence with the UARB, Pieridae said the Sipekne’katik ignored its consultation overtures and the tribe is not near authorizing the proposed LNG terminal. The board also said it has no authority over provincial native affairs conduct, and the delay could hurt the project.