Oil company could put a City in bankruptcy

News 6 September, 2017
  • Photo Karyne Boudreau
    Thirty people demonstrated in front of the palace of justice, of New Carlisle, in support of Restigouche-South-East.

    Karyne Boudreau

    Tuesday, 5 September 2017, 23:23

    Tuesday, 5 September 2017 23:30

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    NEW CARLISLE | The oil Gastem could bankrupt the municipality of Restigouche-South-East if she won her trial is designed to demonstrate that the municipality caused him to lose over a million dollars by adopting a regulation aiming to protect its drinking water.

    Gastem is claiming$ 1.5 Million to the municipality, which is close to 10 000 $ to each of the 157 inhabitants of Restigouche-South-East, in the Gaspé peninsula. The municipality has adopted in 2013 a regulation to stop the exploration work of the oil, which were less than 200 metres from a source of drinking water.

    The trial opened Tuesday at a courthouse in New Carlisle, in the Gaspé, in front of a thirty environmentalists who were protesting outside.

    According to the mayor of Restigouche-South-East, François Boulay, if the municipality loses its case, it could mean the implementation of technical bankruptcy of his City as$ 1.5 Million represents five times its annual budget of $280,000.

    The mayor Boulay has had to appeal to the generosity of the people of Québec and nearly 200 municipalities to pay the legal fees, which amounted to $ 300,000 up to now.

    “This is intimidation of a judicial the share of Gastem. If Gastem sets foot here, the oil may extend to the province of Quebec. Restigouche South-East there was only one thing: to protect its drinking water, ” said Bilbo Cyr of green Environment more.


    From 2011 to 2013, Gastem has set up a drilling site for oil exploration within 200 metres of a water course on the territory of Restigouche-South-East, where the municipality draws its drinking water. Also, five wells residential were then within a perimeter of 400 meters of the activities of oil exploration.

    In 2013, fearing for their source of drinking water, citizens have circulated a petition, which was signed by more than half of the residents. The city council has subsequently adopted a regulation imposing distances separating between the drilling and water courses, which has driven out Gastem.

    During the first day of trial, the attorney representing Gastem, Daniel M. Rochenburger, was called to the bar a municipal councillor of the time, Micheline Pelletier, and Jacques Perron, who has acted as a consultant in right of way and authorization for the company to Restigouche-South-East from 2011 to 2013.


    The prosecution is attempting to establish that the municipality was aware since 2011 of the intentions of Gastem and that she had given her permission to work near the river.

    Jacques Perron recalled the many meetings he has had with the elected officials and municipal officers of Restigouche-South-East, and even a public meeting during which, in November 2011, the population was able according to him to take cognizance of the intentions of Gastem.

    Ms. Pelletier has for its part agreed that Gastem had met with the elected officials and the public, but only a handful of people, including the mayor of the time, and the municipal officers, were aware of the proximity of the drilling and drinking water sources.