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2012-05-06 at 11:29

Aroland First Nation files freedom of information act

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Aroland First Nation has filed a freedom of information act, saying the Ontario government and Cliffs Natural Resources have been holding confidential meetings.

Aroland filed a request for disclosure to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines for information relating to Cliffs’ chromite mining project in the Ring of Fire.

The request was filed after Aroland officials say it came to light the province and Cliffs were having confidential meetings, concealing information and preparing to make an announcement.

“We need to find out what has been going on behind closed doors. Our community it going to be impacted by the Cliffs project along with many others, but we were not part of these meetings, nor were local municipalities,” said Aroland Chief Sonny Gagnon in a release issued Friday.

“They are deciding the future for everyone in Northwestern Ontario without consulting any of us,” said Gagnon, adding it would be a breach of their constitutional rights under section 35 of the Canadian Constitution Act, 1980.

The act guarantees First Nations the right to be consulted and accommodated on matters that affect them and their traditional lands.

“This is exactly why a Comprehensive Environmental Assessment does not work for First Nation. We want a negotiated Joint Review Panel. We want to fully participate. We want to protect our land, our people and exercise our Aboriginal treaty rights,” said Gagnon.

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Arch Stanton says:
Good for them!

(However, I'm not sure that the 'obligation to consult with FNs' automatically includes their full access to every detail of every discussion between potential operators and regulators.)
5/6/2012 12:11:52 PM
woodzee says:
If pursued it would violate our fundamental freedom of assembly. Is Aroland responsible for full disclosure of council meetings.
5/7/2012 7:39:36 PM
Greenstoner says:
What in the world is wrong about a private company having confidential meetings with any provincial ministry? To say that there has been no consultation is pure and utter BS! As a resident and taxpayer of Greenstone, I am very happy to see our Mayor and Council stand up and lobby for as many jobs as reasonably possible from the Ring of Fire (with Cliffs and all the other companies), but there is a limit as to how far to push and just exactly what bandwagon to jump upon. I am curious to see where and how far our municipal council is prepared to go with partnerships with our First nation communities. Hopefully thay will not be part of this particular request.
5/6/2012 2:00:44 PM
wayne says:
let's just ban all natural resources extraction/harvesting in northwestern ontario. that'll teach them private sector leaches from trying to help us prosper. [sarcasm]
5/6/2012 3:00:19 PM
noront says:
Wayne you are missing the point. The FN are trying to keep this project in NWO. They are all on board and are pro-development. What they are trying to do is call someones bluff. Cliffs told them on Tuesday that they had a deal with the government, then the government told them Wednesday there was no deal or deal in the works. Somebody is not telling the truth.
5/6/2012 4:51:08 PM
Corina says:
It is a shame that there is someone that has to cause even more mistrust concerning FN business. Having said there is someone not telling the truth the information should be willfully surrendered even without the freedom of information act having to be put into play.
5/6/2012 5:35:50 PM
unionbay880 says:
Why don't we just involve everyone in the negotiations / planing. Get a big table that everyone can sit at and yell what they want. I do remember something about business cluster training in the news lately. That would be a real cluster. If they are waiting for a proposal / plan that will please everyone they will never build the mine.
5/6/2012 5:32:32 PM
wayne says:
noront, you are missing the point. if Cliffs wants to make sudbury their prime choice for the ferrochrome processing plant based on best business cases, what does that have to do with protecting traditional ways of life in Aroland? wake up and smell prosperity.
5/6/2012 8:12:39 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Why would there be secret negotiations going on? Only reason would be to make a secret deal.
5/6/2012 9:06:46 PM
ring of fire dude says:
To Chief Gagnon they may seem secret because his traditional land does not cover the Ring of Fire and he is being left out of the loop . And why is NAN not speaking up on the "secret deals", I can smell a dead fish here and it has something to do with infighting in NAN communities over "profit sharing" between communities outside of the Ring of Fire .
5/7/2012 3:34:33 PM
ring of fire dude says:
And to TBNewswatch , why don't you give a call to Chief Waboose in Webequie and see what Cliffs and NorOnt are doing for the community in way of training and jobs . Here lies the real story why other First nations are complaining about not getting their piece of the mining pie .
5/7/2012 5:00:32 PM
feduptaxpayer#1 says:
And maybe when they call Chief Waboose, they can tell him to vamoose from Northern Ontario because he's killing our jobs!!!
5/8/2012 1:57:52 AM
ring of fire dude says:
Chief Waboose and the community of Webequie have had consultations with Cliffs and NorOnt on jobs ,training and I suppose some sort of compensation . It's all the other communities that will shut down , blockade or mount legal hurdles against these miners because their "Traditional" land is not in the ROFire . It's all about greed and jealousy between communities (Chiefs) and the inability of NAN to control or at least bring them ALL to the table .
5/8/2012 9:58:19 AM
pub27 says:
The smelter will be in Capreol, it's not a base case, it's THE case, why else would they be clearing and running power there? Let them have it, there will be plenty of of employment locally i'm sure.
5/7/2012 4:44:46 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Gee, anyone bother to mention that NORONT's President and CEO Richard Nemis (and lovely daughter, Jennifer) are native residents of SUDBURY? So, guess where the Processor will go?
5/8/2012 7:57:49 AM
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