MONTREAL – Utica Resources today filed a lawsuit in Superior Court to have Bill 21 struck down or, failing that, to obtain compensation from $18 billion which corresponds to the net present value of future benefits, as estimated by a leading independent expert.
Bill 21 is an infringement of Utica Resources’ right to “peaceful enjoyment and free disposal of one’s property», a fundamental right protected by the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms (section 6) and section 952 of the Civil Code of Quebecwhich states that “No owner may be forced to transfer his property except by expropriation in accordance with the law for reasons of public utility and subject to fair and prior compensation.
“We will defend our rights so that this disguised expropriation, whose public utility does not exist, is compensated at the fair value of our property,” said from Utica CEO, Mario Levesque. “A leading independent expert has concluded that from Utica the properties would generate $67 billion in future benefits (net value of recoverable resources in place), the equivalent of $18 billion in net present value using the Court’s discount rate.
“For years, the Quebec the government had invited us and others to invest in order to explore and extract of Quebec oil and gas resources. We acted in good faith, found local and foreign investors and respected all of Quebec regulatory requirements. Then, overnight, the government changed its mind for political reasons and effectively expropriated our properties without proper prior compensation. Bill 21 is completely irresponsible and illogical in every respect and goes against the will of a large majority of Quebecers. It’s bad for Quebecour European allies who desperately need our gas and even the environment.
If the government’s actions were to be upheld by the Court, it would mean that there is no property right in Quebec and Canada. The province and the country would become uninvestable and would scoff at Mr. Legault’s assertion that “Quebec is not a banana republic” and Invest in Canadaaffirm that “Canada is the best country for global investments. Period. “