Ginoogaming First Nation seeks further ban on mineral exploration – by Staff (SN News Watch – January 24, 2024)

THUNDER BAY — A court hearing scheduled for this Friday in Toronto will determine whether Ginoogaming First Nation is granted an interlocutory injunction to prevent mineral exploration in part of its traditional territory pending the outcome of a lawsuit against Ontario and two mining companies.

In September 2021, the First Nation received an extension of an interim injunction preventing exploration firms connected to Geraldton prospector Mike Malouf from exercising their three-year Ontario government permits to explore in an area that Ginoogaming has declared to be sacred and culturally significant.

In the 2021 decision, a Superior Court judge ordered Ontario to engage in “meaningful consultation” with Ginoogaming. The province had maintained that its hands were tied because the only outcome satisfactory to the First Nation would be a revocation of Malouf’s exploration permit.

The judge observed in her ruling that the government’s argument, in other words, was that “Ginoogaming will not accept any accommodation.” But she questioned the adequacy of consultation prior to issuing the permit, which included a notice provided by letter and a follow-up email, saying “this does not seem to me to be effective communication.”

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