The Ontario government’s approval of new mining permits using an outdated and inaccurate map created by the country’s smallest nation is “trickery and bad faith,” according to aboriginal leaders.
The Ontario Forest Products Association said it “takes no pleasure in raising this issue with you,” in a letter to Premier Doug Ford sent Monday afternoon. The Ontario government, the association said, “acted capriciously and without regard to the conservation and economic interests of the Province of Ontario’s rural forestry industry.”
The notice was issued by the International Evironment Protection Agency for Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and was posted by the province on Aug. 2, according to CIPSA, citing the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on the Toronto Star’s website.
The ministry sent notice saying it had signed off on a permit allowing the Gun Lake Mining Company to use two land claims considered “of little consequence.” CIPSA, a subsidiary of the Inter-Band Association of Métis Nationalists in Ontario, said the government applied the outdated map to the matter because it didn’t like how Gun Lake company had made its new claims.
According to the Toronto Star, Dr. Glenn Freer, an expert on hunting and fisheries use, criticized the listing for a situation that isn’t illegal. “People use hunting rights to protect fishing rights,” Freer said. “It seems to me there’s been a lot of tactics in trying to prevent the development of those fishing rights.”
Freer, who also runs Canada’s Centre for Environment and Indigenous Policy, also called for the withdrawal of the listing because “it’s basically trickery and bad faith.”
“What we’re getting is a violation of their duty to accord the greatest amount of protection,” he said, according to the Star.
A 2012 process for the ministry to list the parcels found them to be of “little consequence,” but in 2017, the Gun Lake company filed new claims about nine kilometers from the two roads that appear on the old maps as ready for development.