MALARTIC, Que. — A man whose house was the only thing left standing in the way of a gold mining project was literally dragged away Monday.
Ken Masse was pulled away from his western Quebec home by provincial police after a mining company obtained an expropriation order.
Up until the last minute, Masse appeared to believe that he would continue living in his childhood home.
“It’s just a big show,” he said, just before police arrived.
“I don’t think they can just take me out. I am a human being and I have natural and moral rights and they have no right to touch me if I have done nothing. ”
But Quebec provincial police arrived shortly afterward and pulled him, his feet dragging across the ground, away from the property.
Masse, 35, says he’d already turned down $350,000 from the mining company — for a house worth $14,000.
But his childhood home was the last obstacle in the way of the multibillion-dollar project by Osisko Mining Corp.
The reclusive Masse insisted he was fighting to protect property rights and the environment from the massive open-pit mine.
Court documents say the family was also seeking $1 million from the mining company.
Masse was the lone holdout from a relocation project that saw Osisko buy out 204 of 205 homeowners in his neighbourhood, which literally sits on top of the deposit.
A provincial tribunal will now identify an appropriate market-level compensation for Masse’s home.
A Superior Court judge awarded Osisko Mining Corp. possession of Masse’s home after the company requested an emergency court decision.
In a ruling presented last week, Justice Robert Dufresne wrote that Masse’s house is preventing key preparation work for the mining project from moving forward.
Masse had been scheduled to appear in court next month to fight a government expropriation order. He has been representing his mother, Mary Elizabeth Wilczynski, who owns the home.