Lawyer says First Nations will fight Ontario government's proposed mining changes


MiningWatch Canada advocate wonders ‘what’s left to cut?’

Warren Schlote · CBC News · Posted: Mar 03, 2023 8:00 AM EST 

Ontario Mines Minister George Pirie says changes to the Mining Act are meant to encourage new development. (George Pirie )

The Ontario government's proposed changes to mining regulations are drawing concern among mining critics and advocates for First Nations.

Kate Kempton represents the northern Ontario First Nations of Attawapiskat, Ginoogaming, Constance Lake and Aroland. In 2021, Attawapiskat, Neskantaga and Fort Albany signed a moratorium on new developments in the Ring of Fire mineral deposit, though other First Nations have expressed support for developing the deposit.

Kempton said the First Nations "are not going to stand for this" and that the government's actions will only lead to further confrontations.

"Doug Ford is basically setting himself and his government up for a bunch of injunctions and blockades. He's paved the road for court action and possibly direct action as well," Kempton said.

On Thursday, Mines Minister George Pirie introduced amendments to the Mining Act, meant to make the process of building new mines easier and faster for companies.

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