Grenville-sur-la Rouge is fundraising for a legal battle.
The municipality is trying to appeal a $96-million lawsuit it is facing from mining company Canada Carbon. The Vancouver-based company launched the lawsuit after council changed the zoning in order to prevent the company from reopening the Miller mine to extract graphite and marble.
At a special meeting on May 2, council approved creating the Solidarité Grenville-sur-la Rouge fund to raise money to assist with the legal costs associated with the lawsuit.
Grenville-sur-la Rouge has a population of 2,800 and financing the legal costs from the municipal treasury would have been impossible. The goal is to raise $200,000.
The fund has the backing of environmental and activist organizations including Mining Watch Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, Nature Québec, and the Centre Justice et Foi. However, it also has the support of the Federation Québécoise des municipalités and the Caisse d’économie solidaire, which is affiliated with Caisses Populaires Desjardins.
The campaign was officially launched on May 7 at the Maison du développement durable in Montréal.
Mayor Tom Arnold was at the event and said approximately $25,000 has already been raised.
On November 9, 2017, Grenville-sur-la-Rouge lost its bid to have the $96-million lawsuit dismissed.
The municipality alleged Canada Carbon’s lawsuit was designed to restrict the freedom of expression of the elected council and citizens and was a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or SLAPP, as it is known in the legal world.
Grenville-sur-la Rouge is launching an appeal of the ruling. The hearing for that takes place on May 17 in Montréal.
Hearings for a judicial review of Canada Carbon’s intentions in Grenville-sur-la Rouge are scheduled for late February 2020.
Meanwhile, Canada Carbon is defending its plans for the Miller Mine based on the quality of graphite it could produce.
The graphite would be used in nuclear reactor development programs around the world, and the company has shared results of research which claim that natural graphite is purer than synthetic varieties.
For more information about Solidarité Grenville-sur-la Rouge, go to https://solidaritegslr.ca/