Chiefs of Ontario Welcome Extension of Mining Act Consultation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2008
TORONTO— While the Chiefs of Ontario welcome the extension of the Ontario Mining Act consultation period to January 15, 2009, they remind the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines that First Nation communities must have substantive input in the revisions to the mining act.“I believe that the announcement relating to the extension of the Mining Act consultations to January 15, 2009 is a demonstration that the Government of Ontario is heading in the right direction regarding the government to government relationship required between Ontario and First Nations governments,” says Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse. He adds, “I will listen to First Nations leadership next week at our Chiefs of Ontario Assembly on how to use this opportunity to work effectively with government to ensure our Aboriginal and Treaty rights are recognized and honoured.”
Since the Mining Act review process went under review earlier this year, and in the context of the jailing of KI leadership for their efforts to protect and preserve their traditional territories from mining exploration on their territory, First Nations leaders have demanded meaningful and effective consultation and collaboration on changes to the Mining Act.
“The ability of First Nations communities to identify and discuss the issues for change and for First Nations leadership to discuss with Ontario Ministers the areas and manner of changes required in the Mining Act is a minimum requirement,” says Regional Chief Toulouse. Adding, “The Ontario government can not revise the mining act to suit its own priorities in mining, they must prioritize Aboriginal and Treaty rights. We have a growing population waiting to support and build the economy, we encourage modern values and mutually agreed terms.”
The Chiefs in Ontario will address the Mining Act Review at a Special Assembly next week. First Nations leadership in Ontario will discuss the way forward on this matter and the extension period will provide an opportunity for practical steps and measures to be discussed and directed.
The Chiefs of Ontario represents 133 First Nation communities located within the Province of Ontario. The Chiefs of Ontario is the coordinating office providing a unified voice and political leadership on regional, provincial and national priorities affecting First Nation people. Political organizations comprising the Chiefs of Ontario include Nishnawbe-Aski Nation, the Anishinabek Nation/Union of Ontario Indians, Grand Council Treaty No. 3, Association of Iroquois & Allied Indians and Independent First Nations.
For interviews with Regional Chief Toulouse, please contact:
Harmony Rice, Communications
Chiefs of Ontario
harmony @ coo.org (no spaces)