Province responds to Sudbury firm’s lawsuit – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – January 29, 2014)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Ontario cannot be held responsible for the failure of mining claims filed by a Sudbury-based exploration company in northwestern Ontario, the provincial government says in a statement of defence.

Instead, the government says it was the failure of Northern Superior Resources and the Sachigo Lake First Nation to strike a deal that led to the company walking away from the mining claims in 2012.

The government filed the statement of defence in response to a $110-million lawsuit Northern Superior Resources has brought against the province. Northern Superior Resources wants another $15 million from the province it says it spend on developing its Thorne Lake, Meston Lake and Rapson Bay gold properties.

In addition, the company’s lawsuit is also seeking a declaration by the province that it failed to consult with First Nations as required by law and that Northern Superior Resources experienced damages as a result.

The company alleges the province failed to consult properly with Sachigo Lake First Nation, and that led it to abandon the mining claims.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The province says in its statement of defence that Northern Superior’s suit is without merit and should be dismissed.

“The Crown has a duty to consult First Nations, and where appropriate accommodate their interests, when the Crown has real or constructive knowledge that a proposed decision or activity might adversely affect Aboriginal or treaty rights,” the province says in its statement of defence. “(Northern Superior) seeks to rely on this duty to consult, alleging that Ontario failed to consult adequately with (Sachigo Lake First Nation).

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