Wabauskang First Nation
March 6, 2013
Wabauskang First Nation expects its lawsuit opposing Rubicon Mineral’s proposed Phoenix Gold Mine Project in Red Lake, Ontario will soon be strengthened by a decision from Ontario’s highest court.
Wabauskang’s lawsuit against Ontario and Rubicon relies on Grassy Narrows First Nation’s victory in the Keewatin decision from 2011. There the Court effectively concluded that only Canada, not Ontario, can issue resource authorizations that affect Treaty rights in Grassy Narrows’ and Wabauskang’s traditional territory, including the Red Lake area. The Keewatin appeal was heard in January and a decision is expected in the next few months.
While attending this week’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto, Wabauskang Chief Leslie Cameron said, “we were heavily involved in the Keewatin appeal and made arguments in support of Grassy Narrows and that support our own case against Rubicon and Ontario. The Court of Appeal seemed really interested in our arguments. We’re expecting to win.”
“If we’re successful, Ontario’s going to have to totally rethink how it treats us and other Treaty 3 First Nations when it comes to mining,” said Chief Cameron. “For a start, we think Rubicon will have to face the writing on the wall and admit they shouldn’t have got their closure plan for the Phoenix Mine. We’re reasonable people. We’re not saying that the mine can’t ever go ahead. But we have to be treated properly and our treaty rights have to be respected. So far, neither Rubicon or Ontario has done this, even after we filed our lawsuit. When Keewatin is decided in our favour, they won`t have any choice but to get serious with us.”
For more information please contact:
Chief Leslie Cameron