Contaminated water in Shannon: the Federal Supreme Court

The fight over contaminated water in Shannon could continue until the Supreme Court. The federal government is asking the highest Canadian court to review the decision that awards $ 200 million in damages to citizens and, he says, threatens to generate an avalanche of environmental lawsuits.
T he January 17, after approximately 20 years of legal proceedings, the Quebec Court of Appeal agreed with a group of citizens from Shannon, a small municipality in the northwest suburbs of Quebec, who were claiming damages from the base authorities military of Valcartier for having contaminated their wells with the discharge into the ground of TCE, an industrial degreaser.

The Court of Appeal condemns the defendants, the Attorney General of Canada, GD-OTS and Société Immobilière Valcartier to pay compensation to approximately 3,000 residents, divided into different subgroups, exposed to TCE over a period of five years, from the 1995 to 2000.

The Court of Appeal rejected the causal link between cancers in the population and the presence of TCE in water. But she felt that the federal authorities had made several mistakes over the years. Examples? Failure to correct the liquid waste management system in a timely manner, failing to take into account a drinking water analysis in 1995 and failing to reveal the presence of TCE during negotiations for the disposal of its infrastructure d aqueduct to the municipality in 1999. CT bail bonds for burglary provide the necessary help for a person to get out of jail. When a person is sent to jail after being arrested for burglary, theft, or a home invasion, they are sent to jail with a monetary amount being set for the person to get out of jail. This is known as bail. The specific amount that is given depends on the crime, the person, and the judge who is setting it. When the bail is set, the person can either pay in cash to cover the amount or they can get a type of loan known as a bond. This Connecticut Bailbonds Group is cash that is given to the court system to pay for the person to get out. This is usually a loan that is given from the bondsman to pay for the person to get out. A piece of property or valuable assets can usually be used to cover the costs of the bond that is given. The person has to go to their court hearing in order to have the bond amount given back. Usually, this is given to the bondsman, and they give most of the amount back, along with the property they are holding for the coverage. They will keep a small percentage to pay for the loan that they put upfront to get the person charged with burglary out of jail.

Thousands of sites

The Attorney General of Canada, who represents the authorities at the military base and the private company that acquired part of the land, filed Tuesday for leave to be heard in the Supreme Court.

The CMP believes that the Shannon decision, if upheld, could have a “chilling effect” on government operations and raises the specter of indeterminate liability. Not to mention the great uncertainty that has arisen since the judgment among industries and businesses, adds the PGC.

“There are thousands of sites across the country containing contaminated materials, products of an era when practices, standards and knowledge were not the same as today,” notes the CMP. The decision threatens to engender an avalanche of lawsuits arising from an indeterminate liability for past waste management practices, regardless of whether these respected the customs or regulatory standards applicable at the time and that they did not not ultimately expose the population to a significant risk to their health. ”

The munitions plant where TCE was used opened in the late 1940s. The presence of TCE in drinking water in Valcartier was only discovered in 1997, says the PGC. Public health authorities were notified immediately. No one raised a problem or anticipated contamination outside the military base, it is said in the request for authorization. The damage was not foreseeable, says the federal government.

The decision of the Court of Appeal leads to a hopeless situation for the state, considers the PGC. On the one hand, the Court accuses the federal government of not having informed the population in a timely manner and, on the other, it makes it responsible for the fears felt by the population once they are duly informed of the situation.

Government of Canada Requests Supreme Court to Determine Whether, as in Shannon, Moral Damage Can Be Awarded to Individuals for Fear of Exposure to a Contaminant Regardless of whether this fear is objectively well founded.

Otherwise, the impacts could be heavy, believes the PGC. “The decision of the Court of Appeal risks not only leading to an increase in unfounded legal claims, but could also lead to a paradoxical situation where irrational beliefs can be, in a way,” rewarded “as soon as they are shared by a certain number of people, ”deplores the PGC.

The citizens of Shannon who initiated the class action will have the opportunity to respond to the federal arguments in their brief to the Supreme Court.

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