Maliseet leaders to attend mining ministers conference in St. Andrews – by By Matthew Bingley (CBC News New Brunswick – August 14, 2017)

Leaders opposed to proposed Sisson Brook Mine

Indigenous people who are opposed to the Sisson mine project are teaming up with other advocacy groups to try to sway mining ministers at a national conference this week in St. Andrews.

The Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference will gather mining and energy ministers from every Canadian jurisdiction. The conference is held annually as a means to bolster the industry within the country.

The province is hosting the meeting not long after the controversial Sisson mine received federal environmental approval. Now, a delegation of conservationists, Indigenous leaders, and mining advocates plan on rubbing elbows with those ministers.

“What we would like to address are the concerns from our people from our nation of the Wolastoq area,” said Wolastoq Grand Chief Ron Tremblay, who is opposed to the Sisson mine.
Tremblay plans to remind those attending the conference of the environmental risk.

He said he will bring up the Mount Polley mining disaster, where in 2014, the BC mine’s tailings dam broke, spilling 24 million cubic metres of mining waste into nearby lakes and rivers. “They ruined and they poisoned all the vegetation and that river,” said Tremblay.

“Jobs are really a must for our people, but [there are] better jobs that are out there that could sustain our people.” In February, the chiefs of the six Maliseet First Nations affected by the mine reached a multi-million dollar deal with the provincial government. The accommodation agreement would see the six First Nations receive 9.8 percent of provincial revenue generated by the metallic mineral tax.

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