Energy company suing province for $105M
FREDERICTON, N.B. – A Calgary-based resource company is suing the New Brunswick government for defamation.
Windsor Energy has launched a $105-million lawsuit against the province, and former Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup, claiming the company’s been “done wrong on a very high level.”
“We had hoped that we could settle something with the government prior to coming to this stage,” said Windsor Energy’s CEO Khalid Amin. “We had informed of our intentions and the strength of our case and the things that have been done wrong. But they chose to bury their heads in the sand and consequently we filed suit.”
Amin said he approached the Premier about the possibility of a lawsuit last December.
The lawsuit is based on public statements Northrup made back in 2011.
At that time, the company had a license and was exploring about 150,000 net acres near Sussex, N.B. for possible shale gas resources.
In the court documents, Windsor Energy claims they advised the Town of Sussex that they would be seismic testing along Route 1, with eight of those tests happening within the town’s municipal boundaries.
A complaint was made to the Department of Natural Resources. On November 2, 2011 Northrup said in a press release that the department had done an investigation, and had turned their findings over to the RCMP.
“I had requested under the Access to Information act with the RCMP,” Amin told Global News. “From that information we got some very telling tales that the regulator actually advised the Minister that we were onside, that he had legal advice and actually advice from the ombudsman of N.B. stating that we were totally onside and within the law.
“He chose to continue to defame us and continue to come after us in the media and in press conferences.”
Northrup ended up granting Windsor Energy the five year license in April 2012 saying he “didn’t want to subject the people of New Brunswick with what could have been a lawsuit.”
Bruce Northrup’s office said he couldn’t comment on the case as it’s before the courts.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.