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Client Work

Construction begins on the Ultramar Saint-Laurent Project Pipeline between Lévis and Montreal

Fasken
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Client

Ultramar Ltd.

In 2005, Ultramar embarked upon a project to construct a 240 km-long pipeline connecting its Lévis refinery with its Montreal-East petroleum product distribution centre. The large-scale project, dubbed the Pipeline Saint-Laurent, is intended to replace the current means of transporting the various petroleum products, which is primarily done by train. Clearly, a project of this size involves a great deal of steps, each requiring the involvement and authorization of numerous government entities, including the judiciary. As the pipeline passes through agricultural land, Ultramar needed authorizations to use this land for a purpose other than agriculture. Fasken Martineau, involved in the project since 2006, played a leading role in obtaining these authorizations. The Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec (the "CPTAQ", Quebec's agricultural land protection board) granted authorizations for part of the route, namely by way of its June 25, 2008 and August 6, 2009 decisions (2008 CanLII 31161 (QC CPTAQ) and 2009 CanLII 42667 (QC CPTAQ), respectively), with the Quebec government authorizing the remaining portions. Nearly all decisions handed down by the CPTAQ were appealed before the Tribunal administratif du Québec ("TAQ", Quebec's administrative tribunal) by landowners who opposed the project. One of the TAQ decisions was itself appealed before the Court of Québec. Fasken Martineau represented Ultramar before each of these bodies, thus ensuring that all the authorizations obtained were upheld by the appellate courts. From the project's outset, and concurrently with its efforts to obtain the necessary government authorizations, Ultramar had entered into negotiations with the roughly 695 landowners affected by the pipeline's passage in an attempt to obtain, by mutual agreement, the rights it required for the project's construction. While such agreements were signed with the majority of the affected landowners, Ultramar was obliged to expropriate these rights from certain landowners with whom it was unable to come to an agreement, as provided by the Act Respecting Pipeline Saint-Laurent (S.Q. 2005, c. 56). Fasken Martineau represented Ultramar in its defence of its right of expropriation before the Superior Court of Québec, which resulted in the Ferme Denis Scott et Fils c. Ultramar ltée [2010 QCCS 5809 (CanLII)] ruling in favour of Ultramar, which upheld both the validity of the Act Respecting Pipeline Saint-Laurent and Ultramar's right to expropriate the rights it required for the pipeline's construction failing agreements with the affected landowners. Fasken Martineau was also closely involved in preparation of the expropriation proceedings and represented Ultramar before the administrative and legal tribunals throughout the expropriation process, particularly in the context of the hearings to determine the amount of provisional and final indemnity to be given to the landowners in consideration of their expropriated rights. Fasken Martineau's work enabled Ultramar to begin construction of the pipeline in June 2011, despite strong opposition from numerous landowners and the many objections that these parties raised before the administrative and legal tribunals. This file was handled by a Fasken Martineau team composed of lawyers Karl Delwaide (lawyer in charge), Antoine Aylwin, Anne Catherine Drost, and Émilie Paquin-Holmested, with the precious assistance of paralegals Monique Gauthier, Monique Gourd, Thérèse Lasalle, Helen Hamel and Anabel Mayer.

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