I would like to offer my most sincere congratulations to François Boulay and the municipality of Restigouche Southeast for their landslide victory over Gastem oil.
In January 2013, this small Gaspesian municipality of 157 inhabitants adopted a bylaw that prohibited oil drilling within 2km of drinking water sources. The deregulation of the oil industry by the QLP and PQ governments forced it to implement concrete actions to protect the local population.
Subsequently, the oil company Gastem started a lawsuit for the astronomical sum of $1.5 million; the equivalent of all of the municipality’s tax revenues over a period of 12 years.
Faced with this lawsuit, Mayor François Boulay and the Solidarité Ristogouche committee toured Quebec to raise the necessary funds to fight the oil company in upper court.
Today, Ristogouche has just won against Gastem, which will have to accept the settlement in question and pay $164k to the municipality to cover legal fees.
This victory would not have been possible without the strong involvement of citizens across Quebec and elected officials such as François Boulay, who did not hesitate to defend the interests of his constituents against an under-regulated industry that flouts local democracy and the regulations that protect our drinking water.
Solidarity with Restigouche and all those who are fighting against the oil industry in Quebec!
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec