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Who carries the true duty to consult? – Canadian Lawyer

by aanationtalk on December 17, 2012474 Views

Written by Michael McKiernan
Issue Date: December 2012

When members of the northern Ontario Wahgoshig First Nation stumbled across an exploratory drilling team preparing to clear forest and bulldoze access routes on its traditional land in the spring of 2011, the work crew was unwilling to disclose whom they were working for.

It had been almost two years since their employers, junior miner Solid Gold Resources Corp., received instructions from the Crown to contact the band for consultation over its plans for a 22,000-hectare patch of unpatented mining claims, and none had occurred.

When the Wahgoshig finally figured out who they were dealing with, they tried in vain to contact Solid Gold to get the consultation belatedly started. By November 2011, the province was moved to intervene with a letter that repeated its earlier instructions. The next day, the First Nation turned to the courts, initiating a claim against the province and Solid Gold, and later won an injunction that prevented any further drilling by the company.

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