Saskatchewan is suing the federal government to avoid being left holding the entire bill for a massively over-budget uranium mine cleanup project, the total cost of which has grown more than 1,000 per cent, to $278.1 million.
The province is seeking $61.8 million — the bulk of Ottawa’s original $12.3 million commitment plus $50.6 million to cover half of what has been spent to date — and a court order that the federal government “contribute equally” to remaining costs.
Filed this week in Regina Court of Queen’s Bench, the statement of claim is the latest development in a 12-year dispute over the ballooning cost of burying radioactive tailings and other work at the abandoned Gunnar uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan.
It alleges that the federal government — which has contributed $1.1 million to the mine cleanup project to date — breached its contractual obligations to cost-share the project and has also failed to advance or support it.
“Canada benefitted from the Gunnar mine’s operation as it controlled the uranium industry throughout said operation, but has imposed all financial responsibility for the decommissioning and reclamation of the Gunnar mine upon Saskatchewan,” the statement reads.