PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – A lawsuit involving an economic development agreement in northern Saskatchewan has been thrown out by a judge who says the challenge aimed at overturning the deal was frivolous and without merit.
The decision last Friday by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Alison Rothery in Prince Albert followed an April court hearing.
The 2012 agreement, which includes Cameco (TSX:CCO), Areva and the village of Pinehouse, is to provide about $200 million in economic benefits to the community over 11 years.
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The lawsuit was filed by a group of nearly 40 concerned citizens and outside environmental groups who argued that the deal was secretive and could destroy the way of life in Pinehouse.
Rothery chastised the plaintiffs for trying to use the courts as a platform to express their opposition to uranium mining.
The group was ordered to pay $16,000 in court costs, or $2,000 to each of the eight defendants.
The Saskatchewan and federal governments, along with the Kineepik Metis local in the community, were among those named in the lawsuit.
Rob Gereghty, a Cameco spokesman, says the ruling came as no surprise.
“Well, we have said for some time now that this is an abuse of the legal process and a frivolous lawsuit. The judge left no doubt whatsoever that was the judge’s opinion,” he said.