The Quebec Cree Nation government says the Supreme Court of Canada’s refusal to consider an appeal in connection with a $200 million lawsuit against the government of Quebec gives more power to Indigenous communities across Canada to stop resource projects in their tracks. It said it also strengthens the legal notion that social acceptability is an essential requirement for developers.
In a decision released Oct. 15, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Strateco Resources, which sued over Quebec’s 2013 decision to stop a uranium project near the Cree community of Mistissini that didn’t have local or Cree Nation government support.
Both the Quebec Superior Court and the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld the notion that the province was allowed to consider social acceptability in refusing to issue a permit to Strateco’s Matoush Project.
“According to our interpretation … the [lower court] interpretations that the project should not be built because it lacked social acceptability is now the law of the land,” said Bill Namagoose, executive director of the Cree Nation Government.
With its lawsuit, the company was trying to recover what it said it invested in the project over seven years plus damages, according to Strateco Resources president and CEO, Guy Hébert.
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