ArcelorMittal has been fined nearly $14.5 million – the largest fine ever levied in Quebec for environmental crimes – for acts committed nearly a decade ago at the Mont Wright mining complex, in Cote-North. The case is not over since the steel giant turned to the Quebec Court of Appeals.
Posted yesterday at 7:00 am
Negotiations between the Public Prosecution Office of Canada (PPSC) and the defense led to an agreement on punishment. The joint motion of the parties was approved by Judge Julie Rendo, of the Court of Quebec, on Friday in the Montreal court.
“The prosecution is very satisfied with the result,” El-Sayed said.e Donald Barnabas in Journalism.
These are serious crimes and the fine reflects their seriousness. This is the largest environmental fine imposed in Quebec to date.
Me Donald Barnabas
Last October, ArcelorMittal, which made about $15 billion in profits last year, was found guilty of more than 90 counts under Fisheries Law As well as the sewage regulation for mineral extraction. In her 74-page ruling, Judge Riendeau concluded that the company had implemented malicious spills in addition to providing “false or misleading” statements and incomplete reports.
The alleged facts took place from 2011 to 2013. ArcelorMittal had already appealed the decision of Judge Riendeau. The multinational didn’t want to explain why it saw things differently than the Quebec court, the lower court.
“The total amount of the fine is therefore subject to the decision to be made by the Court of Appeal and can therefore be less than what has been established by the Court of Quebec,” specified in an email to ArcelorMittal, Annie Barry.
The Mount Wright mine, which began its activities in 1974, is the largest open-pit iron mine in Canada. It has reserves for another three decades, according to the Luxembourg-based company.
New Quebec Register
In Quebec, in 2014, US company Cliffs Natural Resources, which at the time operated the Lac Bloom mine, on the North Shore, was fined 7.5 million after hundreds of violations — such as toxic spills — against Fisheries Law.
In terms of the country as a whole, Teck Coal received the biggest slap in the wrist, with a $60 million fine in March 2021 over spills in two rivers in British Columbia.
“We are in the presence of an amount [14,4 millions] Which may seem important, but when we look at the earnings of these companies, we see that the impact is not much of a deterrent to bad practices,” laments Rodrigue Turgeon, attorney and spokesperson for the Quebec Meaux Mines Alliance.
During a phone interview, he made no secret of his surprise to see ArcelorMittal appeal the case because it “refuses to pay”. Mr. Turgon criticizes the behavior of the multinational company, which, in his opinion, “hijacks the judicial process to clear it of its criminal responsibility”.
In this case, a numbered company convicted of five counts was fined $600,000. The first shareholder of this company is EQP Cooperatief, which was founded in the Netherlands. It has entered into a partnership with ArcelorMittal as of February 2013. As per the judgment, it has owned 15% of the Canadian subsidiary of the multinational with other investors.
- ArcelorMittal workforce at the Mont Wright mining complex, on the North Shore
“Subtly charming problem solver. Extreme tv enthusiast. Web scholar. Evil beer expert. Music nerd. Food junkie.”