Injunction and judicial review regarding the Canadian Malartic Mine
On August 15, 2016, Mr. Dave Lemire, a resident of the South of the Railway Zone in Malartic, filed an application for an interlocutory and permanent injunction against Canadian Malartic GP (CMGP). The proceedings alleged that the largest open-pit gold mine in Canada failed to meet the applicable environmental standards, more specifically with respect to noise and extraction rates. In fact, since 2011, the defendant has committed more than 4,000 violations of existing laws and regulations. Despite several notices of non-compliance issued by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC), the mining company did not take the necessary measures to stop the nuisances. Mr. Lemire was simply asking that the defendant comply with the applicable standards, so that the nuisances would cease for the residents of Malartic, particularly those living closest to the pit.
On April 10, 2017, Judge Michel Beaupré rendered a judgment dismissing the application for an interlocutory injunction, but recognizing a clear right to have the noise standards as interpreted by Mr. Lemire respected. The Judge also recognized an apparent right to have the mine respect the extraction rate of 50 Mt per year. He blamed the MDDELCC for “its wait-and-see attitude” and “its passivity” in the case.
On April 12, 2017, the Quebec government issued a decree allowing CMGP to operate with more noise and to double its extraction rate.
Mr. Dave Lemire subsequently filed an application for judicial review to have this decree and the new noise standards quashed.
On May 13, 2019, Judge Étienne Parent rendered a judgment dismissing the application for judicial review. The judge commended Mr. Lemire’s remarkable efforts, but concluded that the government’s exercise of discretion deserved a high degree of deference.
An application for authorization to institute a class action was also filed by TJL in this case. Click here for more information.
All of these cases were settled by an agreement which was approved by Judge Marie-Paule Gagnon in December 2019. In her judgment, she emphasized that the agreement “allows all the citizens of Malartic to look to the future” and “to envisage a cohabitation marked by greater collaboration between the mine and the citizens of Malartic”.
TJL waived its fees in the class action.