The $96-million lawsuit against the mayor and council in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge is moving slowly.
On March 2, Canada Carbon had Mayor Tom Arnold and councillors served with a notice that the municipality, the mayor and councillors were being sued because of council’s alleged efforts to block the company from developing a graphite mine and marble quarry in the municipality. The case had ended up before Québec’s Commission for the Protection of Agricultural Land (CPTAQ). Council responded to the lawsuit by stating they were acting within their legal right to protect the interests and rights of the citizens of the municipality. Council had voted against the proposed Miller Mine project on the basis that it contravened municipal zoning laws. Canada Carbon had also commissioned a hydrogeological study to address concerns that the mine and quarry would affect local groundwater; the study concluded there would be no adverse effects.
Grenville-sur-la-Rouge has asked for the case to be thrown out. According to online court documents, that was rejected on May 16 by the judge. A further hearing in St-Jérôme to request an appeal has been postponed.
Earlier in September, a provincial tribunal also heard an appeal of the case. Arnold said no judgement from that hearing has yet been delivered and it could be 45 to 60 days before a ruling is issued by the tribunal.
The mayor was reluctant to comment in depth about the $96-million lawsuit from Canada Carbon. However, Arnold did say “All of these things cost money and that’s annoying.” In May, the TSX-listed Canada Carbon concluded a private placement of $2.8-million of its share units and raised $224,000 towards its legal costs in determination of having the Miller Mine project go ahead. The cost of the case for Grenville-sur-la-Rouge could be challenging. The municipality has an annual budget of only around $5 million.