The recent lawsuit filed by Northern Cross against the government of the Yukon, the Minister for and Department of Energy, Mines and Resources is raising quite a few eyebrows. According to lawyers for the company, “Permits were obtained with the Defendants’ full knowledge and understanding that Northern Cross expected the subject lands to contain unconventional resources, which would require hydraulic fracturing to extract.”
This is news to Yukoners. Northern Cross never publically disclosed its intention to frack Eagle Plains prior to the last election.
Yukoners have been lobbying for a ban on fracking for many years. It was a major election issue and one of the reasons the Yukon Party was turfed. So how can Northern Cross truthfully claim to have been betrayed or even surprised by the government’s decision? They must have known for several years that this was a possibility.
And since when should corporate interests dictate government policy? Is the purpose of this lawsuit to send a message to Canadians that they need to consider corporate interests first when they vote — or else? Our sovereignty as a democratic territory and nation are being challenged by this lawsuit.
So here is an idea. Can the citizens of the Yukon countersue Northern Cross? Given that fracking has been shown to be so destructive and that Eagle Plains is a fragile permafrost environment important for the health of the Porcupine caribou herd, can we sue Northern Cross for secretly plotting to profit from environmental harm? Can we sue Northern Cross for colluding with the Yukon Party to influence an election through deception about their plans regarding Eagle Plains?
There is a reason CNOOC pulled out of Northern Cross. It doesn’t look like YESAB was ever going to allow development in Eagle Plains. But Northern Cross isn’t just seeking to recoup loses which they claim to be $395 million. They are asking for $2.2 billion. Can we sue Northern Cross for an attempt to profit through vexatious lawsuits?
I believe we should sue Northern Cross for at least $2.2 billion. We should also sue Northern Cross CEO David Thompson for an additional $10 million. He is, after all, personally responsible for this lawsuit and the predatory practices that proceeded it. The emotional distress experienced by Yukoners is worth at least that amount of money.