The municipality of Havelock is facing a setback in its bid to stop an asphalt factory from operating on Covey Hill.
An application for Leave to Appeal, submitted by the municipality following a Superior Court ruling in favour of Groupe Chenail Inc. and the installation of the asphalt factory, was rejected by Quebec Court of Appeal judge Peter Kalichman on July 25.
The ruling upholds a decision rendered on May 10 by Superior Court judge Silvana Conte that determined the building of a mobile asphalt plant at the Carrières Ducharme quarry on Covey Hill conforms to municipal bylaws. Havelock’s lawyer argued the project does not comply with the zoning bylaws, as the addition of an asphalt plant represents a secondary principal use of the lot, not an accessory use.
The application for Leave to Appeal contends that Conte erred in applying a general definition of “accessory use” instead of the municipality’s specific regulatory context. Havelock’s lawyer also argued that the impact of the error could undermine the ability of municipalities to prohibit activities, by allowing the courts to circumvent applicable regulatory frameworks in favour of a general description of “accessory use.” Kalichman disagreed, ruling that while Havelock may not agree with the original ruling and the judge’s application of certain principles, this did not justify the hearing of the appeal.
“The appeal of the judgement was refused,” confirmed Havelock mayor Gerald Beaudoin during the regular municipal council meeting on August 14, noting this puts an end to the municipality’s legal options. “We made the effort,” he added, before suggesting there are a few steps remaining, including a request submitted for an audience with the Commission de protection du territoire agricole (CPTAQ) and the Ministry of Environment.
Beaudoin announced during the meeting that the municipality plans to issue a statement regarding the situation in the coming days. The Gleaner will continue to follow this story closely as it evolves, with updates published on our website.