Exploration president criticizes Queen’s Park on hands-off approach to Indigenous engagement
A Sudbury junior miner has dropped a $25-million duty-to-consult lawsuit against the Ontario government and has settled out of court.
With their case still on appeal, Northern Superior Resources president Tom Morris said with a favourable outcome far from certain, it just made financial sense for the small exploration firm to end its five-year legal battle with Queen’s Park.
He declined to comment on the terms of the agreement reached with the province. “There was no guarantee that we were going to win anything out of that. The reality was that with what was offered to us, it just made sense to bite the bullet and move on; and the same from the government’s standpoint.”
Morris said four-person, budget-conscious, exploration outfits like his are ill-equipped to engage in drawn-out legal battles.
Northern Superior had originally sued the province for $110 million in the fall of 2013, arguing that the province failed to properly consult with Sachigo First Nation and didn’t protect the company’s government-granted right to stake and explore for gold near the Manitoba border.
The company later lowered its compensation demands in the hope of reaching an out-of-court settlement. An Ontario Superior Court dismissed the company’s case in 2016 and Northern Superior was handed a $440,000 bill for court costs.