Tyranny at Lake Abitibi

Date of publication: 
23 October 2012

Toronto, Ontario – Solid Gold Resources Corp. reports that new regulations obligating proponents to consult with potentially affected Aboriginal communities before conducting exploration activities in Ontario are scheduled to come into force on November 1, 2012.

“These rules result in a total transfer of all Natural Resources to the control of hostile third party governments. It is my opinion that Canadians must do everything possible to stop this ill-conceived race-based initiative”, stated Darryl Stretch, president of the company.

On January 3, 2012, in the absence of any supporting law, a motions judge in the Superior Court of Ontario ordered Solid Gold Resources Corp. to stop all exploration work at Lake Abitibi and, together with the Province of Ontario, to consult and accommodate Wahgoshig First Nation (WFN).

Two days later, in reference to the order, Premier Dalton McGuinty of Ontario stated:
“There is an important legal obligation now placed on businesses to consult in a formal and thorough way.”

No law or regulation was in place on January 5, 2012 when the Premier of Ontario made that statement and in fact the law will not come into effect for another two weeks.

It is now a year since Ontario acknowledged that it was the Crown’s duty to consult WFN and it had not met that duty. Solid Gold Resources Corp. anticipates an imminent declaration from Ontario that the Crown has now met its constitutional duty to consult and accommodate WFN where required.

Further, in the interest of clarity, Ontario must inform and assure all stakeholders that, just as in any other contract, terms cannot be changed without the consent of all parties and that these new regulatory obligations will only be imposed on holders of mining claims recorded after November 1, 2012.

Without any debate in the people’s house, Ontario has imposed these regulations on the public after a six-year multi-billion-dollar initiative. The company has been unable to locate a single report of any kind with respect to these fundamental matters, including a report on public consultation or even an impact-benefit analysis. The government’s initiative fails the most basic smell test: what is the definition of consultation? A search of Ontario’s newly updated website does not reveal a definition of “consultation” as it relates to First Nations. It certainly is not to be found among all the other definitions and interpretations in the new Mining Act.

When asked to define “consultation”, one of the lawyers for WFN replied, “It is case-specific and fact-specific. The Court will decide. In some cases, it is the rights that are at issue, how strong those rights are, what kind of drilling is being proposed. But it really depends on the case.”

If counsel is correct, the Courts will quickly overflow with First Nations vs. industry conflicts, financed by taxpayers and further choking Ontario to economic collapse. How could conflict resolution be fairly adjudicated by the government without fundamental legal definition engrained in statute? Debate in the legislature on bullying should fully canvass the government’s behavior in this case. It is plain that Ontario is mired in an impossible conflict and has proven itself incapable of non-biased action to protect Canada’s sovereignty and Solid Gold’s statutory right to access and to explore its recorded mineral claims without interference.

Mr. Stretch has accepted an invitation to speak on these and other matters, such as the Government’s “revenue-sharing scheme” at 10 AM, November 7, 2012 at the Ontario Prospectors Symposium in Sudbury, Ontario.

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Solid Gold Resources Corp.
(604) 638-4960
Info [at] solidGOLDcorp [dot] com