The municipal council in Havelock is regrouping after a public audience, requested by the municipality before the Commission de Protection du Territoire Agricole (CPTAQ), was cancelled.
The municipality had been preparing to plead its case against the operation of an asphalt factory already installed in the Carrières Ducharme quarry on Covey Hill before the commission on February 7. Over 20 other organizations, groups, and individuals were also planning on presenting, either in person or by submitting a memoire or brief in opposition to the plant owned by Groupe Chenail Inc.
As of press time, a new date was yet to be confirmed by the commission.
Testimonials were expected from the municipality and its ad-hoc committee that has been studying the potential impacts of the factory over the past several months, as well as local conservation group Ambioterra and the UPA, among others. It is anticipated that they will dispute the CPTAQ’s favourable assessment of the proposed project, issued last September, which concluded that an asphalt factory in its current location would not impact soil resources, the production of nearby maple operations and orchards, or the overall homogeneity of the area.
The CPTAQ assessment, which does not represent a final decision, suggested Groupe Chenail Inc. be allowed to operate the plant for five years while respecting certain conditions. After this period, the file would be reassessed.
Havelock, which has already waged a lengthy court battle against the factory, maintains such a project is inconsistent with the agricultural and forestry vocation of the community.
“The municipality is not letting this go,” says Mayor Gerald Beaudoin adamantly. “We want to make our case heard, and we are hoping that they will judge us favourably,” he adds.