Letter to Minister Rickford from legal experts on Pandemic and First Nation Consultation

Land claim - Wikipedia

Legal experts have written to Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern
Development and Mines, Greg Rickford, calling for an immediate halt to
mineral staking and permitting processes in the province on account of
difficulties remote Indigenous communities face in responding to
consultation and permitting processes when they are already under
extreme pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The experts, recognised authorities in Aboriginal law, Crown-Indigenous
relations, and natural resources and environmental law, write:
“In many of these communities the pandemic is placing unique burdens on
leadership and community members. The challenges remote Indigenous
communities face with respect to housing, health care, and clean water
exceed those faced by the rest of Ontario. Pre-existing social
emergencies have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and already depleted
resources are stretched thin. In our view, the pandemic requires an
immediate cessation of mineral staking and permitting processes in order
to avoid placing additional burdens on the limited resources in these
communities during a time of crisis.”

MiningWatch Canada supports this position and has written to Minister
Rickford to learn his response.

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