The Ontario Mining Action Network (OMAN) was launched in Sudbury, Ontario on December 5, 2004 at the conclusion of a two-day workshop on mining in Ontario. Representatives from First Nation communities, labour organizations, environmental groups and mining-affected communities from Southern and Northern Ontario identified a number of obstacles to more responsible and better regulated mining in the province and agreed to use the strength of a network to address these issues in their communities and at the government/policy level.
Participants at the workshop shared their experiences of how mining has affected their communities. Participants spoke about the environmental, social, economic and cultural impacts of mining, the challenges of interacting with mining companies and the need for better regulation of mining activities. As a result of our discussions, we identified three major areas of concern:
- Lack of meaningful consultation with First Nations and other surface holders prior to the onset of mining activities;
- Insufficient mechanisms for reclamation and rehabilitation funding;
- Inadequacy of specified standards, guidelines and monitoring mechanisms to protect our health and the environment.
These concerns and the recommendations from the workshop are elaborated in the background document which has been sent to Ontario ministries with responsibilities for mining - Environment, Natural Resources and Northern Development and Mines. See the backgrounder for details.
The workshop was organized by MiningWatch Canada.