Archive | Mining Conflict and Opposition


Monday, February 27, 2012

For Immediate Release


Montréal, Sunday, February 26, 2012. “The survey by Léger Marketing on the mining industry confirms the relevance and importance of our work over the last four years” stated Ugo Lapointe of the Coalition Québec meilleure mine (Better Mining Coalition). According to the survey, a majority of residents of Québec including the Abitibi region (the most active mining area of Québec) agree that there is a need for further reforms to improve royalties, environmental protection and respect of citizens’ rights. “It’s very encouraging. It shows that our positions are supported by the people of Québec, even in the mining regions where the industry lobby is most active” added Lapointe.

Conducted between February 17 and 19 for the Journal de Montréal the survey questioned 600 people, with a good representation of respondents from Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Results of the survey include:

–     59% of the Québec population judges current royalties to be insufficient, including 73% of Abitibi-Témiscamingue residents Continue Reading →

Cool It (Environmental Documentary – 2010)

This information is from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia:

Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming is a book by the Danish statistician and political scientist Bjørn Lomborg. The book is a sequel to The Skeptical Environmentalist (first published in Danish in 1998), which in English translation brought the author to world attention.

Lomborg argues that many of the elaborate and expensive actions being considered to stop global warming will cost hundreds of billions of dollars without the same return on investment, often are based on emotional rather than strictly scientific assumptions, and may have very little impact on the world’s temperature for centuries. Lomborg concludes that a limited carbon tax is needed in the First World as well as subsidies from the First World to the Third World to help fight ongoing humanitarian crises.


The New York Times says

“ In his short new book, “Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming,” Mr. Lomborg reprises his earlier argument with a tighter focus. He tries to puncture more of what he says are environmental myths, like the imminent demise of polar bears. ”
—The New York Times, [1] Continue Reading →

An Inconvenient Truth (Environmental Documentary – 2006)

This information is from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia:

An Inconvenient Truth is a 2006 documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim about former United States Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to educate citizens about global warming via a comprehensive slide show that, by his own estimate, he has given more than a thousand times.[citation needed]

Premiering at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and opening in New York City and Los Angeles on May 24, 2006, the documentary was a critical and box-office success, winning 2 Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature and Best Original Song.[4] The film also earned $49 million at the box office worldwide, becoming the sixth-highest-grossing documentary film to date in the United States.[5]

The idea to document his efforts came from Laurie David who saw his presentation at a town-hall meeting on global warming which coincided with the opening of The Day After Tomorrow. David was so inspired by Gore’s slide show that she, with Lawrence Bender, met with Guggenheim to adapt the presentation into a film. Continue Reading →

Not Evil Just Wrong (Mining Documenatry – 2009)

This information is from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia:

Not Evil Just Wrong (2009) is a documentary film by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer that challenges Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth by suggesting that the evidence of global warming is inconclusive and that the impact global-warming legislation will have on industry is much more harmful to humans than beneficial.[1] The movie was filmed in 2008 and was screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam[2] and at the Right Online conference in 2009.[3]

Despite earlier screenings at conservative political conferences, filmmakers promoted a “premiere” on October 18, 2009.[4] The film attempted to break a World Record for largest simultaneous premiere, which is currently held by the documentary The Age of Stupid, another global warming documentary.[5] The film’s website claims that there were 6,500 U.S. screenings and 1,500 foreign screenings and reached 400,000 people.[6]

Continue Reading →

How Green Was My Valley (Mining Movie – 1941)

This information is from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia:

How Green Was My Valley is a 1941 drama film directed by John Ford. The film, based on the 1939 Richard Llewellyn novel, was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and written by Philip Dunne. The film stars Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp, and Roddy McDowall. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards,[1] winning five and beating out for Best Picture such classics as Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Suspicion and Sergeant York.

The film tells the story of the Morgans, a close, hard-working Welsh family at the turn of the twentieth century in the South Wales coalfield at the heart of the South Wales Valleys. It chronicles a socio-economic way of life passing and the family unit disintegrating.

In 1990, How Green Was My Valley was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Continue Reading →

Matewan (Mining Movie – 1987)

This information is from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia:

Matewan (1987) is an American drama film written and directed by John Sayles, illustrating the events of a coal mine-workers’ strike and attempt to unionize in 1920 in Matewan, a small town in the hills of West Virginia.[1]

Based on the Battle of Matewan, the film features Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell, David Strathairn, Kevin Tighe and Will Oldham.


It was 1920 in the southwest West Virginia coal fields, and, as the narrator recalls, “things were tough.” In response to efforts by miners to organize into a labor union, the Stone Mountain Coal Company announces it will cut the pay miners receive, and will be importing replacement workers into town to replace those who join the union. The new workers are African Americans from Alabama and are coming in on the train, but the train is stopped outside town and the black men are told to get off. Derided as “scabs”, they are then attacked by the local miners, but manage to get back on the train and continue their journey. Continue Reading →

West Virginia’s Mine Wars

This article is from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History website:

Compiled by the West Virginia State Archives

On March 12, 1883, the first carload of coal was transported from Pocahontas in Tazewell County, Virginia, on the Norfolk and Western Railway. This new railroad opened a gateway to the untapped coalfields of southwestern West Virginia, precipitating a dramatic population increase. Virtually overnight, new towns were created as the region was transformed from an agricultural to industrial economy.

With the lure of good wages and inexpensive housing, thousands of European immigrants rushed into southern West Virginia. In addition, a large number of African Americans migrated from the southern states. The McDowell County black population alone increased from 0.1 percent in 1880 to 30.7 percent in 1910.

Most of these new West Virginians soon became part of an economic system controlled by the coal industry. Miners worked in company mines with company tools and equipment, which they were required to lease. The rent for company housing and cost of items from the company store were deducted from their pay. The stores themselves charged over-inflated prices, since there was no alternative for purchasing goods. Continue Reading →

Harlan County, USA (Mining Documentary – 1976)

This information is from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia:

Harlan County, USA is an Oscar-winning 1976 documentary film covering the “Brookside Strike”,[1] an effort of 180 coal miners and their wives against the Duke Power Company-owned Eastover Coal Company’s Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, Kentucky in 1973.[2] Directed by Barbara Kopple, who has long been an advocate of workers’ rights, Harlan County, U.S.A. is less ambivalent in its attitude toward unions than her later American Dream, the account of the Hormel Foods strike in Austin, Minnesota in 1985-86.


Kopple initially intended to make a film about Kenzie, Miners for Democracy and the attempt to unseat Tony Boyle. When miners at the Brookside Mine in Harlan County, Kentucky, struck in June 1972, Kopple went there to film the strike against Duke Power Company and UMWA’s response (or lack thereof). The strike proved a more interesting subject, so Kopple switched the focus of her film. Continue Reading →

The Windy Craggy Experience (British Columbia Mining History) – by Mary Page Webster (Fraser Institute – undated)

This article came from the Fraser Institue website:

I first learned of the Windy Craggy copper-cobalt deposit when I was a student working towards my degree in Geology. Geddes Resources Ltd. was exploring the property and the president of Geddes (my father) showed me some surface samples. The massive sulphides in the samples indicated that Windy Craggy was one of the most important mineral finds in North America.

Windy Craggy is in the Tatshenshini Area of Northwestern British Columbia, about an hour west of Whitehorse by helicopter. The area is isolated with no ready surface access, and no permanent residents. It is not prime hunting and fishing territory. In fact, the only person working a trapline in the area at the time it was explored was a man named Yurg Hoffer, who had emigrated from Switzerland. His trapline extended along the west side of the Haines Road from about the Yukon Border to the Alaska border near Haines—a distance of about 40 miles. The scenery in the area is typical of the Rocky Mountains which extend northwest through Alaska, and south through the western United States and into Mexico.

My first visit to Windy Craggy was as part of an exploration team several years after I graduated. I spent much of the next 10 years working in the area, including in the Yukon and BC. For four of these years I was exploration manager for Geddes Resources. Continue Reading →

Quebec risks driving away mining investment with Bill 14 – by Jean-Francois Minardi (Fraser Forum – January/February 2012)

This article came from the Fraser Institute website:

Until recently, mining executives around the world saw Quebec as having the best policy environment for mining investment (McMahon and Cervantes, 2010). This is mainly thanks to a predictable regulatory
environment, the absence of territorial claims in Northern Quebec, high quality geo-scientific data easily accessible to miners, good infrastructure, a skilled workforce, and an attractive mining tax system (McMahon and Cervantes, 2011).

But with the introduction of Bill 14, tabled on May 12, 2011 to amend Quebec’s Mining Act, the province is now poised to introduce a high level of uncertainty that may scare investors away and seriously damage the policy attractiveness of Quebec to mining investors.

Bill 14 gives additional power to municipalities to control mining activities in their territories. But giving municipalities control over where and how mining can take place sidelines the provincial government as the sole mining regulator and runs the risk of erecting multiple barriers to mining investment, investment that creates well-paying jobs in many Quebec communities. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: MiningWatch Canada Welcomes Drummond Commission’s Recommendation to Examine Mining Taxes

Thursday, February 16, 2012

(Ottawa) For over a decade, MiningWatch Canada has been saying that Ontarians should be getting a better share of the resource wealth that is extracted in the province. The coalition of social justice, environmental and Indigenous groups welcomed the recommendation to eliminate a key tax break for mining companies and to review the mining tax system in the recently released report from the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, chaired by Donald Drummond.

The report recommends that the province “eliminate the Ontario resource tax credit and review the mining tax system to ensure that the province is supporting the exploration and production of minerals in Ontario while receiving a fair return on its natural resources.”

“Given the province’s economic situation and the current growth in the mining sector, this is an important recommendation that the government should definitely implement in this year’s budget,” urged Ramsey Hart, Canada Program Coordinator at MiningWatch Canada. Continue Reading →

Plan Nord Under the Microscope – by Frédéric Dubois (The Dominion – Janurary 9, 2012)

Public involvement in diamond venture ends once gems are found

MONTREAL—Since the mid 1900s, every man, woman and child living in Quebec has donated the equivalent of $20 towards exploration costs for the province’s first diamond mine project. But when a mine was finally discovered and the promised rewards for years of the province’s investment began to be realized, the Quebec government sold the project to a private company. Not only that, but Quebeckers can expect to shell out even more as the now privately owned mine moves towards production.

According to documents obtained by The Dominion, all that’s left for the public after they invested over $157 million in the Renard Diamond Project is a 37 per cent stake in a private company, and token public representation on the company’s board of directors.

The diamond mine is today being hailed as a model operation by the Quebec government. But a deeper look into what this model would mean for Quebeckers casts a long shadow over the government’s economic policies. Continue Reading →

Southerners need to learn of folly of caribou plan – Wayne Snider (Timmins Daily Press – February 22, 2012)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper. Wayne Snider is the paper’s city editor.

Time is at hand for NEOMA to step up lobbying efforts

It’s great to see that our leaders in Northern Ontario are switching into overdrive when it comes to lobbying. Members of the Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association (NEOMA) have a special subcomittee set up to look at ways to get the North’s voice heard in the corridors of power at Queen’s Park.

The most pressing issue right now is the caribou protection plan, pushed through by the government under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

If the plan goes through as currently structured, 65% of the Abitibi River forest will be off limits to industry within the next 20 years.

That means wood allocation for forest companies would drop significantly, leading to the closure of many regional operations.

NEOMA — which is comprised of mayors and council members from municipalities across the Northeast — realizes this would be a catastrophic blow to the region’s economy, creating massive job losses and jeopardizing not only the standard of living but the Northern lifestyle. Continue Reading →

Audacious Environmental Hypocrisy: James Cameron – Grow Up – by Ann McElhinney ( – February 24, 2010)

Beautiful but Dangerous Avatar – Ann McElhinney’s You-Tube posting speech, above is from the conservative CPAC convention (February 2, 2010).  Ann McElhinney, the director of “Not Evil Just Wrong” and “Mine Your Own Business” speaks about anti-development bias in James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar and about environmental indoctrination in public education system in US.

This column below is from:

Ann McElhinney is a conservative documentary film director and producer.

I thought Avatar was a great film, beautiful even.  Cameron is such a good story teller he even had me rooting for the blue rain forest people and wishing death on all the appalling Americans in final battle scene.
But seriously, James Cameron grow up. Avatar is an anti-mining, anti resource development rant worthy of a not very clever spotty undergraduate.

James Cameron is a self confessed unrepentant greenie, and in the world he creates mining is evil and life in the rain forest is just spiffing. So lets throw a few facts in the way of Cameron’s gorgeous but idiotic narrative. Continue Reading →

Avatar activism: Pick your protest – by Henry Jenkins (Globe and Mail – September 18, 2010)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Henry Jenkins is Provost’s Professor of communication, journalism and cinematic arts at the University of Southern California and the author of Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture.

Five Palestinian, Israeli and international activists painted themselves blue to resemble the Na’vi from James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar in February, and marched through the occupied village of Bil’in. The Israeli military used tear gas and sound bombs on the azure-skinned protesters, who wore traditional kaffiyehs with their Na’vi tails and pointy ears.

The camcorder footage of the incident was juxtaposed with borrowed shots from the film and circulated on YouTube. We hear the movie characters proclaim: “We will show the Sky People that they cannot take whatever they want! This, this is our land!”

The event is a reminder of how people around the world are mobilizing icons and myths from popular culture as resources for political speech, which we can call “Avatar activism.” Even relatively apolitical critics for local newspapers recognized that Avatar spoke to contemporary political concerns. Continue Reading →