August 10-16, 2021: Weekly News Roundup

The buy-out of Noront Resource’s Ring of Fire mines by BHP is being scrutinized by environmental and social justice groups who believe that Noront did not disclose significant First Nations dissent to the mining project to BHP. These social justice groups have appealed to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to look into Noront’s alleged omission.

The national class action lawsuits against the Government of Canada for failing to provide clean, safe drinking water to First Nations communities has taken a step toward resolution with an “Agreement in Principle.” The detailed outline of commitments and funding amounts can be read in the Canadian Lawyer article. The Community of Neskantaga said that: “We view the Agreement In Principle as hope that our water issues will be in the past and that we can move forward with a new beginning.”

A student paper out of Victoria critiqued the Trudeau government’s inaction on funding safe clean drinking water. They calculated a rough estimate comparing the amount of public dollars spent buying-out pipeline projects to the amount needed to fund drinking water on reserves; they found that “The cost of building a water treatment plant on 258 reserves is only 5 per cent of what the Canadian government has spent on pipelines in the last three years.“

August 10, 2021 (Northern Ontario Business)

Noront Resources’ board likes what BHP has to offer

Environmental groups claim Ring of Fire mine developer is hiding something, wants OSC to investigate

“… While the battle to take over Noront wages on, the Toronto junior miner is taking heat from environmental groups for not being straight-up with its investors on the high risk, high reward challenges of building a mine in the Far North, especially with opposition from First Nation communities in the region.

A coalition consisting of MiningWatch Canada, Greenpeace Canada, Osgoode Hall Law School’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic, and the Council of Canadians wants the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to investigate Noront for its failure to disclose the “significant” First Nation opposition in the area to mine development on Indigenous traditional lands.” Read more here . . .

August 12, 2021 (Canadian Lawyer)

Canada resolves class actions on First Nations drinking water

Agreement provides $1.5 billion in compensation, new $400 million restoration fund

“Marc Miller, federal Indigenous services minister, has announced an Agreement in Principle with Tataskweyak Cree Nation in Manitoba, Curve Lake First Nation in southern Ontario and Neskantaga First Nation in northern Ontario through a negotiation process to resolve national class action suits on safe drinking water in these communities.

“I strongly believe in resolving important matters like this through open dialogue grounded in the principles of co-operation, partnership and transparency,” said Miller in the news release.” Read More here . . .

August 13, 2021 (Martlet: The University of Victoria’s independent newspaper)

Trudeau could have ended water advisories years ago

The difference in amount spent on water vs oil is tremendous

“In his 2015 election campaign, Justin Trudeau vowed to end water advisories on reserves by the end of his five-year term. It has been six years since he made that promise, and there are still dozens of reserves without clean drinking water. Not only that but there are still communities fighting the federal government in court.” Read more here . . .

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