The Quebec Federation of Municipalities (FQM), which represents more than 1,000 Quebec municipalities, expressed support for Grenville-sur-la-Rouge’s defense against Canada Carbon’s $96-million lawsuit, related to the proposed Miller Project (a graphite mine and marble quarry project). (Canada Carbon is claiming that the municipality’s actions have affected its efforts to establish a graphite mine and marble quarry in the municipality. The municipality has declared that the two projects did not conform with permitted zoning uses.)
A resolution was presented by the FQM Board of Directors and the FQM annual congress and was sponsored by Gérard Jean, the Mayor of the Municipality of Lanoraie, located in Lanaudière and was supported by the mayors in attendance.
The FQM has resolved to support GSLR to pay 50% of its professional fees to a maximum of $10,000 to assist it in its court defense.The resolution also calls for the province to introduce legislative changes, including to the province’s mining regulations, to better protect municipalities in the case of abusive or vexatious lawsuits or cases of bad faith.
In a September 10 press release, Canada Carbon stated that it has received 66 standard form letters from 63 landowners representing 102 lots that are located in the vicinity of the Miller Project in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge (“GSLR”). The objective of those letters was to inform Canada Carbon that the landowners were refusing access to their lots.
Canada Carbon said in the press release that it appreciates the receipt of the letters and wants to assure each of the landowners that the company has and will continue to fully respect the rights of citizens to refuse exploration on their land.
“Our policy and practice has always been to contact landowners of any lot in which we have an interest in order to obtain consent to access the field. If consent is obtained and the exploration yields favorable results, we have entered into surface access agreements with the landowners. These surface access agreements enable the landowner to share in the economics of the project,” states the press release.
Company representatives compared the location of the 102 access refusal lots to the area of the proposed Miller project. Out of the 102 lots, 83 lots are located around the McGillivray lake area. Of the remaining 19 lots owned by 13 landowners, five landowners had previously advised the company that they didn’t allow exploration work on their land and they were given assurances at that time that the company would not explore their properties. The lands held by the remaining seven landowners do not have the right geological characteristics and are therefore not targets for exploration work.
“We did receive one refusal letter related to a lot number which does not exist. Canada Carbon did not verify the land ownership for all the lots so it could be possible that other inaccuracies are present in the letters,” read a statement contained in the press release.
On several occasions in the past, the company has attempted to communicate its intentions. In a press release dated April 4, 2017 (https://www.canadacarbon.com/
- The cottage area surrounding McGillivray Lake
- The Calumet urban perimeter
- The Rivière-Rouge Parc project
- The Rouge River corridor
- The historical, cultural and patrimonial areas in the McGillivray Lake area and the northern Scotch Road settlements
- Active agricultural zones
In the same letter, the company stated that it intended to reduce its claim package by eliminating claims that are not relevant to mineral exploration or by letting claims expire in the above areas. The number of mineral claims held by Canada Carbon at the Miller Property has decreased from 180 active claims in 2017 to 71 claims. The company continues to evaluate claims potential as expiration dates come due.
Canada Carbon said it would be sending a response to each of the letters in the coming days.
The company states on a Canada Carbon Facebook page that residents do not have all the information about this project and says that only facts about the Miller Project can lead to a free and informed consent.