Rocket-launch construction could start in fall

CEO putting final touch on environmental application

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – Steve Matier, CEO of Maritime Launch Services, was in Guysborough last week to meet with the community liaison committee (CLC) for the company's rocket-launch project, and other meetings. Matier updated the community group on the project's progress, outlining that the finishing touches are now being put on the project's environmental approval application. As well, the Dept. of Natural Resources is conducting a resource review related to the company's request to lease Crown land for the launch site near Canso.

Despite media headlines this past weekend saying the project was delayed, Matier says construction could start this fall and that his earlier projection of a spring start reflected his overly optimistic view of the time needed for these two government review processes.

In an interview Tuesday, Matier told The Journal he's now doing a technical review of the environmental application, which MLS hopes to submit in June. That triggers a 60-day review period.

"Then we expect a period of questions and responses from the environmental approval process," he said. "My optimism has turned into realism.

"Just honouring the process is really what I have to do."

During his most recent visit, Matier also met with industrial partners, investors and Cape Breton - Canso MP Roger Cuzner.

Of the CLC, Matier said it is a "great team...A great group of people and very supportive of the project."