Injunction ‘a matter of respect’ for First Nations – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – January 6, 2012)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper

Wahgoshig First Nation is not out to stop development, says Chief Dave Babin. The community, he added, simply wants its values respected by industry.

Wahgoshig won an injunction this week to halt mining exploration by Solid Gold Resource Corporation on its territory. The company was drilling in an area which the First Nation had identified as sacred ground.

“It’s a long-overdue issue that First Nations are facing with the industry and these are the things the industry has to understand with First Nations,” said Babin. “I’m not going to have people coming around here and terrorize the land because they feel they are following the Mining Act.

“They have to have respect for our cultural values within our territories. We have issues out there that we want to protect. It has no value to them but it has value to us.”

In the decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Solid Gold was ordered to stop drilling on its claims block near Wahgoshig for 120 days to allow for “meaningful consultation” and negotiations with Wahgoshig.

“We wanted to sit down long time ago but this guy (Solid Gold president Darryl Stretch) wouldn’t listen to the First Nation’s concerns,” said Babin

The chief added the band council had approached the company, asking them to stop drilling.

“He just kept on going as if we had no concerns at all,” Babin said.

In an interview with The Daily Press Wednesday, Stretch decried the court’s decision, calling it a “very bad day for mineral and mining exploration in Canada.”

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