Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke files lawsuit over Northvolt EV battery plant

By News Staff

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke has filed a lawsuit with the Quebec Superior Court against the federal and provincial governments for failing to consult the community on Northvolt’s future electric vehicle battery plant.

The MCK is arguing Quebec and Canada “breached the duty to consult” when authorized and funded the project.

“The MCK is also challenging the legislation that governs work in wetlands, arguing that these laws fail to consider, let alone respect, Indigenous rights,” the MCK said in a news release.

Chief Ross Montour says the community is “not prepared to let this decision go unchallenged.”

Northvolt claims its decision to build a $7-billion electric battery plant near Montreal will represent the largest private investment in Quebec’s history.

Work remains suspended on the site following an injunction request by an environmental rights group, the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement, and three citizens. The plaintiffs argue the future facility sits on land that is environmentally sensitive and home to several endangered species.

A hearing on the injunction was expected to happen Tuesday but was instead postponed to Wednesday after a request made by the City of St-Basile-le-Grand and an agreement between the parties, Northvolt said.

In the meantime, Quebec Superior Court Justice David R. Collier has ordered the company not to cut down any trees in or within 500 metres of wetlands until the case is heard.

“Given the importance of wetlands to our environment and their role in helping to mitigate the effects of climate change, we fully support the decision to file this lawsuit,” said Benjamin Green-Stacey, the director of the Kahnawà:ke Environment Protection Office.

“Additionally, failure to mitigate the effects of this construction will result in the senseless loss of many species at risk in the area.”

–With files from The Canadian Press

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