(Toronto) In a decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, released January 3, Madam Justice Brown ordered that Solid Gold Resources Corp. cannot carry on any further exploration activity on its claims block for 120 days, and that during this time the company and the Ontario Crown must engage with Wahgoshig in a process of meaningful consultation and accommodation about any such further exploration. She ordered that if this process is not productive, Wahgoshig can go back to court to seek an extension of the injunction.
Solid Gold's mining claims block is in the heart of Wahgoshig's traditional territory, on land that is of significant importance to Wahgoshig. Solid Gold came onto this land and started drilling without any consultation or accommodation occurring first. The court decision clearly finds this to be wrong.
"We are very pleased with this decision," says Wahgoshig Chief David Babin. "We feel that justice has been done. Exploration and other companies across Canada will hopefully recognize that aboriginal and treaty rights really mean something and that courts will not let our rights be trampled on by unilateral actions and failures of industry and government."
"This is an important precedent for First Nations," says Wahgoshig's lawyer Kate Kempton of Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. "Justice Brown held that it is in the public interest to ensure that First Nations' constitutionally-protected aboriginal and treaty rights, including the right to meaningful consultation and adequate accommodation, are honoured and respected."
Read the full decision here (PDF).
Chief David Babin: Cell - 705-262-2770; Office - 705-273-2055 (ext. 29)
Kate Kempton (Legal Counsel): Cell - 416-571-6775; Office - 416-981-9374