Nuisances in Malartic
On August 1st, 2016, Mr. Louis Trottier filed a motion seeking authorization to institute a class action against Canadian Malartic GP.
The action alleges that Canada’s largest open-pit gold mine, located in the city of Malartic and operated by Canadian Malartic GP, causes several abnormal annoyances to residents of Malartic, such as excessive dust, noise day and night and vibrations due to blasting which usually takes place twice daily.
Since 2011, the defendant Canadian Malatic GP has committed more than 4000 violations of applicable environmental laws and regulations. Despite numerous notices of non-compliance issued by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Canadian Malartic GP has failed to take sufficient measures to put an end to the nuisance caused by its operations.
A settlement was reached by the parties in October 2019. In addition to avoiding a long and costly trial, the settlement provides gains for all residents of the south end.
According to the terms of this agreement, the residents of the south end of Malartic will be able, once the agreement has been authorized by the court:
– to take advantage of the compensation program included in the Cohabitation Guide for the compensation periods extending from July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2018, if they are eligible and have not previously taken advantage of this program
– to benefit from a new revitalization program if they own a building or condo in the south end of Malartic, whether or not they are members of the class action. This $1.5 to $1.7 million program is designed to promote home renovation, conservation and enhancement of the built heritage in this sector. The parties hope that this program will improve the quality of life for residents of the south end.
The agreement also has the following advantages:
– the amounts provided for in the Guide’s compensation program cannot be adjusted downward by Canadian Malartic for the compensation periods 2019 to 2021 inclusive (3 years), even if the mine’s environmental performance has improved since the implementation of the Guide in 2016;
– the agreement allows both parties to end three years of legal disputes at no cost to citizens, while avoiding a lengthy four-month trial in 2020.