Province favours negotiations
TheStar.com – comment/letter – Province favours negotiations
April 09, 2008
Re: B.C. ruling spells trouble for Ontario mining – Ideas, April 5
It is easy to understand Cameron Smith’s concerns with the jailing of the leaders of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug and Ardoch, the result of conflicts with mining companies. There should be no doubt that the provincial government opposed jail time and in fact argued for alternatives.
However, Smith is mistaken when he states that “the McGuinty government has repeatedly slammed the door on First Nations people trying to establish their rights to negotiate development in their territories.” In fact, many Ontario First Nations have agreed to work in partnership with mining and energy companies in a manner that is respectful of both the environment and their rights.
Negotiated agreements have led to more education, training and skills, more jobs and significant revenue for First Nations, with full involvement of the community at every stage of development.
Michael Bryant, Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Toronto