Opponents of the Canada Carbon (the “Company”) mining project published another opinion letter in the November 14 issue of La Presse +. Canada Carbon again feels the need to clarify several elements.
The Superior Court concluded, on November 9, 2018, that Canada Carbon's action for damages is an action for the protection of its rights and is neither abusive nor a SLAPP action. Repeating the opposite will not change this reality. Obviously, the opponents did not like this decision but, Dura lex sed lex (The law is hard, but it is the law), as they write themselves in their letter.
Emphasis is always made of the size of the potential damage claim of $96 million. That figure was not fabricated to be abusive but rather IS the value of the Miller project as calculated by Tetra Tech in the Company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”). The PEA was made public in April 2016, long before the filing of the damages claim.
The real debate
What is the real debate in the Canada Carbon case against the municipality of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge (“GSLR”)? The debate is about the "right" of the new council of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge to block Canada Carbon’s mining and quarry projects. Does the new council have this right?
To answer this question, one must examine the "legality" of the actions of the new GSLR council. Here are some of the facts.
- In 2016 and 2017, GSLR's former municipal council adopted two (2) resolutions recommending that the Commission de la protection du territoire agricole du Québec (the "CPTAQ") favorably receive Canada Carbon’s request for non-agricultural use of the lots covered by the Miller project.
- Under the former municipal council, an authorized municipal officer issued two (2) attestations to the CPTAQ confirming that the Canada Carbon project complies with its municipal by-laws.
- 'The "non-compliance" resolution by GSLR’s new council of elected officials, dated December 12, 2017, was adopted by the council and not by an authorized municipal officer, as required by section 58.1 of the Agricultural Land Protection Act ("LPTA").
- Section 246 of the Land Use Planning and Development Act ("LAU") renders GSLR's municipal bylaw against the Canada Carbon Graphite Mine Project unopposable. It's the law!
- At this very moment GSLR's new Council is taking further steps to amend its zoning bylaw to ban extractive activities in zone AF-03, where the Miller project is located, and is proposing extraction in zone A-04 which is in a dynamic agricultural zone less than 50 metres from the only public water well of Grenville. It is doing so with the obvious purpose of blocking Canada Carbon's plan.
The reality is that GSLR's new Council, by acting as it does, is giving itself a power it does not have, and it is clearly in violation of section 58.1 of the LPTA, section 246 of the LAU and the Mining Act by blocking the Canada Carbon project.
Still and always social acceptability
Canada Carbon is not attempting to stop citizens from expressing their opinions regarding the project. In fact, some of the opinions expressed in the past were used to determine additional studies which were undertaken to improve the overall project. Canada Carbon is however, opposed to elected officials breaking the law and spreading falsehoods to its citizens in an effort to raise fear and derail the social acceptability of the project. They like to say that they are just trying to protect their citizens, but from what? They have never provided any concrete information which supports their assertions that Canada Carbon’s project will harm their environment or water.
It should also be noted that not all citizens of GSLR are opposed to the Miller project. The opponents are the most vocal and aggressive and their behaviour has the effect of silencing those that are favourable to the mine. In municipal meetings, opposing views are ignored.
All the opponents say and repeat to anyone who wants to hear that there is no social acceptability for the Canada Carbon project. Social acceptability involves a dialogue that opponents of the Canada Carbon project reject. Worse still, they sabotage the process leading to it and conclude that the social acceptability does not exist.
We propose to restore a frank and open dialogue, where all stakeholders will be heard, where every concern or issue can be addressed, including by independent experts. It is only after this comprehensive process that Canada Carbon and GSLR citizens can hope for a satisfactory, win / win agreement that will make this project a better project that considers residents’ concerns.
CANADA CARBON INC.
“R. Bruce Duncan”
CEO and Director
E-mail inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
P: (604) 685-6375
F: (604) 909-1163
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FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: This news release contains forward-looking statements, which relate to future events or future performance and reflect management’s current expectations and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements reflect management’s current beliefs and are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company. Investors are cautioned that these forward looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ materially from those expected. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and, except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements and by those made in our filings with SEDAR in Canada (available at www.sedar.com).