One of the top mining companies in Manitoba won a court injunction Wednesday to stop aboriginal protesters from blocking access to two of its remote mines.
But Justice Glenn Joyal’s court order could end up having no more clout than similar injunctions issued by courts in Manitoba and other provinces to restrict Idle No More protestors, who’ve called for a national day of action today to mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
In approving the temporary injunction on behalf of Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting, Joyal said he expects protesters from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) to follow it and perhaps more importantly, RCMP to enforce it.
“The intention has to be to enforce the order,” Joyal said to lawyers representing the Mounties. “I’m confident the injunction will be respected and that the parties will in good faith carry on about their business.” An RCMP spokesman said late in the day the Mounties were reviewing the injunction.
A judge criticized the RCMP in January for not enforcing an injunction on behalf of Canadian National to remove protesters from a rail line west of Portage la Prairie.
Joyal’s decision came after a heated hearing in which about a dozen members of MCCN and its supporters stormed out of the courtroom. Those supporters wore Idle No More pins and included members of the Manitoba arm of the American Indian Movement.
Winnipeg police and extra sheriff’s officers were present to contain any possible outburst.
“It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to have an honourable day in court,” MCCN Chief Arlen Dumas said later.
“Our legal representatives were continuously interrupted. They were called childish insults. It’s unbelievable that type of conduct is allowed to be had from one of our justices in something that’s supposed to be an honourable institution.
“Every Canadian, every Manitoban, should be shocked at what has happened here today,” he added.
“He never bothered to ask, ‘What is your side of the story?’ When we attempted to tell our side of the story, he interrupted and insulted and defended the company the whole way.”
Dumas said the HBM&S mine projects are on his band’s traditional territory and the company does not have permission to extract its resources.
Failure of the province and HBM&S to discuss the issue led to two blockades Jan. 28 and March 5 at the company’s Lalor project near Snow Lake.
For the rest of this article, please go to the Winnipeg Free Press website: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/hudbay-granted-injunction-judge-tells-rcmp-to-enforce-it-199304131.html