Ex-Solid Gold CEO demands apology for being called ‘racist’ – by Jonathan Migneault (Timmins Daily Press – December 18, 2012)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The former president of a gold prospecting company has accused two local First Nations chiefs of making “slanderous and defamatory remarks” against him.

Darryl Stretch, the former president of Solid Gold Resources Corporation, has demanded Dave Babin, chief of the Wahgoshig First Nation, and Harvey Yesno, grand chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation issue a public apology for comments they made at a press conference in Sudbury in early November.

The Aboriginal leaders referred to Stretch as a “racist” and urged the provincial government to withdraw its support from “radical industry representatives” such as those headed by Solid Gold.

“In the event that you do not respond to this notice, I will take whatever action is available to me,” Stretch said in his letter to Babin and Yesno. Earlier this month, Solid Gold’s board of directors removed as the company’s president and chief executive.

Babin has said he has no plans to respond to Stretch’s request for a public apology. Solid Gold Resources has been engaged in an ongoing conflict with Wahgoshig since the First Nation succeeded in having an injunction imposed against the exploration company, preventing further drilling near the Aboriginal community until a resolution between the parties is reached.

Solid Gold holds claims within a 200-square-kilometre area outside the boundary of Wahgoshig First Nation.

Wahgoshig alleged Solid Gold was drilling in areas that included “traditional territory” where there may have been ancient burial sites, historical artifacts and areas where community Elders collect medicine.

In an interview with The Daily Press, Stretch said it was not his company’s responsibility to pay for archaeological studies in search of burial grounds.

“We are not archaeologists, lawyers, Native historians or constitutional scholars,” Stretch said. “We are prospectors and shareholders who have invested in Ontario and have been denied the right to access mineral claims located on Crown land, for which Solid Gold has been granted mineral rights and paid millions of dollars to maintain in good standing.”

For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.timminspress.com/2012/12/18/ex-solid-gold-ceo-demands-apology-for-being-called-racist

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