The Ontario Divisional Court recently released its decision in Attawapiskat First Nation v Ontario.  Among other things, the Court addresses the issue of funding consultation in the early exploration context.
In January 2020, Juno Corp. (“Juno”) applied to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry (the “Ministry”) for two early mineral exploration permits on lands covered by Treaty 9 (the “Project Lands”). The Project Lands are located within the area known as the “Ring of Fire”. They also fall within the Attawapiskat First Nation (“Attawapiskat”) traditional territory, approximately 250 kilometers west of the community. 
Juno’s intended early exploration activities included nine locations of mechanized drilling (East Block) and 50 locations of mechanized drilling and 20 geophysical surveys (Jupiter Block) on its mining claims. The diameter of the drill holes would be the size of a soda can. Attawapiskat’s traditional territory is over 100,000 square kilometers.
Juno applied for the permits on January 22, 2020. On September 8, 2020, after a temporary hold on the application by the Ministry’s Director of Exploration (the “Director”), the Director issued the permits. Attawapiskat commenced a judicial review application to quash the permits on the basis that the Ministry failed to satisfy its duty to consult and accommodate it.
For the rest of this bulletin: https://www.fasken.com/en/knowledge/2022/03/10-the-ontario-divisional-court-weighs-in-on-funding-consultation