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The Ontario government has agreed to suspend logging north of the English River in a territory five times the size of Toronto as an 11-year legal fight winds its way through the courts.
Last August, the Ontario Superior Court ruled the province does not have the power to take away treaty rights negotiated over 150 years ago by allowing industrial activity without the consent of Grassy Narrows First Nation. The decision is being appealed and is expected to be heard this fall.
But while all commercial logging cannot occur in the Grassy Narrows traditional area north of the river without the community’s consent, it can south of the river, said David Sone, a spokesperson for the environmental organization Earthroots.
“The people of Grassy Narrows and First Nations across the province have suffered for decades for decisions imposed on them and their land without their agreement,” Sone said.