Tribunal of the NAFTA: Nathalie Normandeau called in reinforcement

News 16 August, 2017
  • File Photo, Didier Debusschère
    The ex-minister Nathalie Normandeau has confirmed that he has collaborated with the both governments to prepare for the defence of Quebec, sued by Lone Pine Resources.

    Robert Plouffe

    Wednesday, 16 August, 2017 00:00

    Wednesday, 16 August, 2017 00:00

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    QUEBEC | Accused by the Crown of fraud and corruption, the former minister Nathalie Normandeau is called in reinforcement by the québec government brought to the court, has learned our Bureau of investigation.

    It is the american company Lone Pine Resources, which accuses Quebec of having cancelled, in 2011, five oil exploration permits of the Company, including Lone Pine was a shareholder.

    Before the tribunal of the NAFTA, Lone Pine claims to be Canada (which defends the interests of Québec in the context of free trade agreements) damages of $ 150 million to compensate for the investments made and the profits lost.

    Godmother of the act

    The permit in question was revoked by the Act 18, which established a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and limited oil and gas activities in the St. Lawrence river. As minister of natural Resources, Nathalie Normandeau had piloted the adoption of this law in 2011.

    As of 2014, prosecutors in quebec, in concert with those of the federal, have contacted Ms. Normandeau, so that the old minister to help prepare their defence.

    Joined by the Bureau of investigation, Ms. Normandeau has confirmed that he has collaborated with the two governments at their request. She has participated, in 2015, with nearly a dozen meetings involving multiple departments.

    Since then, the ex-vice-prime minister, however, has seen his credibility, and his reputation harmed. In march 2016, she was accused of fraud, corruption, conspiracy and breach of trust following an investigation by the UPAC funding policy illegal.

    The quebec ministry of Justice, it is denied any official comment on the past collaboration or possible Ms. Normandeau.

    But according to our information, the former minister is still considered by prosecutors in quebec and the federal as a key element of their defence.

    Lone Pine alleges that the Act is a measure that is arbitrary, unfair and inequitable on grounds of political and populist, and not on real environmental reasons.

    The Quebec and Canada intend to demonstrate, with the help of Ms. Normandeau, the adoption of the Law was the result of numerous strategic environmental studies that have established the risks of the exploitation of hydrocarbons in the estuary of the St. Lawrence river.

    They argue also that the Law ” is legitimate and in the public interest “, that” it applies to non-discriminatory way to all of the holders of research permit “. This question has a particular character then that snaps the renegotiation of the NAFTA treaty and the settlement of disputes will be discussed by the member States.