A town of 1100 inhabitants, is sued for$22 Million

News 8 March, 2018
  • Photo courtesy
    The sub-soil of the land of the family of Kimie Désabrais, seen here sitting on a rocky outcrop, rosé, contains a multitude of wealth, which the marble and calcite.

    Simon-Pier Ouellet

    Thursday, 8 march, 2018 01:00

    Thursday, 8 march, 2018 01:00

    Look at this article

    GRAND-REMOUS | A small municipality is sued for$ 22 Million because the mayor presumably would changed his mind on the development of a career when he realized that he would not have the contract to exploit it.

    Simon Désabrais and his children Kimie and Sebastian trying for 2015 to get permissions to open a marble quarry and calcite in the field of Grand-Remous, in Outaouais.

    The municipal council of the municipality of 1161 inhabitants has approved the zoning change in 2015, but was changed again in 2016, to prohibit the exploitation of the quarry. The lawsuit would cost more than $ 19,000 per citizen, and 11 times the budget of the municipality.

    The family blame the mayor at the time, Gérard Coulombe, who is married with the sister of the promoter.

    From Facebook

    Gérard Coulombe, ex-mayor of Grand-Remous

    “Mr. Coulombe was shown to be particularly excited by the project in 2015, and had indicated that he already possessed the necessary machinery. The craze has transformed into fierce opposition from the moment it was understood that the plaintiffs had not need of his services ” can one read in the pursuit.

    Because of the delays in the completion of the project, with the company to exploit the career that had unearthed the family desisted. The Désabrais feel they have lost$ 22 Million and demand this amount to the municipality, the former mayor and the MRC of the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau.

    Bad advice

    In order to derail the project, Gérard Coulombe would have provided misleading advice to the family. According to court documents, it would have suggested to add a use of a hydroelectric dam on the property, which is, however, incompatible with the operation of a career.

    The one who retired in November after a political career of 22-year-old has refuted the allegations.

    “There was never a person who worked to harm anyone in the case,” he said.

    The ministry of Energy and natural Resources has granted the mining claims on the site.

    As the exploitation of the quarry is not subject to the mining Act, the Désabrais do not expect that the change of zoning of the municipality.

    This last has not returned our calls, but would evoke the preservation of the environment to block the project.

    In November, the new city council has sent a letter notifying the family that the project ” died on the order paper. “

    The family Désabrais, however, still hope to see their project succeed.

    “One day, we will operate our project. It is certain, ” says Kimie Désabrais.



    The pursuit of$ 22 Million brought against Grand-Remous has similarities with the one made by a mining company earlier this week, in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge.

    The company Canada Carbon calls for$ 96 Million to that municipality in the Laurentides, because the new city council elected in November overturned the zoning change allowing for the exploitation of a graphite mine, as was revealed in The Journal on Tuesday.

    Not one, but two…

    Another continuation of$ 9.5 Million also weighs on the head of the municipality of 2800 citizens in a dispute with the business of the former liberal minister David Whissell.

    The small Quebec municipalities often have difficulty in defending themselves and to pay for expensive lawyer fees.

    Grenville-sur-la-Rouge and Grand-Remous may, however, inspire of Restigouche-South-East, which had raised $ 340,000 in sociofinancement to defend themselves.

    The small municipality of 157 citizens has finally won its battle against Gastem, on the 28th of February, which continued for more than $ 1 million.

    The judge Nicole Tremblay looked behind the arguments of the municipality of Restigouche-Partie-Sud-Est, ruling that it was entitled to adopt a regulation to protect the drinking water of its residents.

    No opposition

    Unlike Restigouche-South-East, where many citizens were opposed to the drilling of oil wells near the drinking water source, there has been no opposition civic in Grand-Remous.

    The opening of the career could create dozens of jobs in a region that was greatly needed, according to the resident Kimie Désabrais, in which the company wanted to extract the marble and calcite.

    The family is convinced that the municipality does not have the competence to ban the exploitation of their career.

    “The section 246 of the Act respecting land use planning and provides that any provision of a zoning bylaw cannot have the effect of preventing the staking or map designation of a claim “, one reads in the pursuit.

    The family also lamented that the elected officers of Grand-Remous, have adopted a resolution to restrict access to their records as a result of several requests for access to information.

    – With the collaboration of TVA Gatineau