Lone mountain man takes on coal company owned by richest Australian



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We are on the last part of the alternate route that the minor suggested that I don’t need my access because there is an alternate route so there is another route this is Vern amard he’s a 62-year-old Alberton with a cabin north of Blairmore in a remote part of the

Rocky Mountains and he’s been caught up in a legal battle with a coal company over access to the road Vern used the road for decades to access his property that was until January when the company put a large concrete block across the main gate and suggested that Vern could

Use an alternate route well this is the last half a mile from my home and this is the best part of the alternate route well here I am at one juncture of my alternative access and I’m wondering how I propose to get my vehicle across this to get my my kids in and

Out this property was bought in 1993 through Alberta land registra uh it has a easement of access called a blanket easement on the property to guarantee access because you can’t buy and sell land in Alberta without access and this is the Crux of the issue ver believes he has a legal

Right to use the Grassy Mountain Road even though the coal company now owns the land that it’s built on the company took issue with the snow clearing that Vern was doing on the road last winter and says they had to close it for safety reasons Vern however sees it differently

And he took them to court he couldn’t afford a lawyer but representing himself he won a partial victory in August they used the excuse that it was safety on the road well nobody else has ever used this road in the winter when I’ve been snow clearing it except me so I only had

One other option was to draw my own sword and give it my own goal so I presented that forward with all my evidence all my arguments and Justice Hall give me a judgment to use this road till it was settled and March 7th the 24

I got to go before court to plead my case under the current court order Vern doesn’t have the right to do any snow clearing on the road so he wonders what he’ll do once the snow gets too deep the company has also offered to buy the land

From ver but so far he’s refused he says it just means too much to him his father’s ashes are scattered here he helped me do a lot of this stuff up here we enjoyed it together it held my family together you look forward to the retirement age where you can work with

Your hands to keep an old man strong and alive and darn miners they were quietly buying a few land owners on the side of the mountain they’d bought we knew nothing but then they were getting aggressive and they were sitting us down and like I say my experience with them

You sell outs to us now or we’re going to close the road and your property will be worthless you were offered some money you were offered some land in exchange it wasn’t up to what you thought was a fair deal but but even if you know they

Had come to you with triple the amount of money or a better piece of land what what value does this property have for you beyond the financial it’s my home it’s where I live and breathe you can’t eat money then I’m not a people person this this is me everybody knows this is

Vern the coal company is largely owned by Gina Reinhardt the richest person in Australia and it’s recently applied for exploration permits on Grassy Mountain the company declined to comment for this story citing the ongoing Court proceedings between it and Vern the case is due back in court in March 2024 and

Vern plans to keep fighting it’s been my life for 30 years it’s like how do you give that up I’ve given up so much stuff and it’s like hm where do you want it to be ver

Vern Emard is locked in a legal battle over a remote mountain road in Alberta he uses to access his cabin. The retiree is representing himself in court against a high-powered law firm working on behalf of an Australian coal company that is trying to revive a project that was previously rejected by regulators.

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