Toronto, ON-Wildlands League issued the following statement in response to a proposed drilling project 40 km southeast of Moose Factory in the Hudson Bay Lowlands. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) has indicated that a decision on the permit is imminent. Moose Cree has rejected the project from the outset and calls on Ontario to withdraw the permit. Wildlands League stands with Moose Cree.
It seems Ontario has failed to learn the lesson of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI). Approving the permit would violate the community’s lands protection initiative and undermine reconciliation.
I don’t think anyone should underestimate the resolve of this community and its allies. We call on Ontario to stop this drilling project and remove these lands from mining forever.
– Janet Sumner, Executive Director for CPAWS Wildlands League.
The North French River watershed and South Bluff Creek Area have been identified by the community as environmentally and culturally vital.
These lands and waters also matter to Ontario and Canada as one of the last sources of clean drinking water for this part of province. The area provides critical habitat for threatened boreal caribou, migratory birds and aquatic life. And its sensitive wetlands store a tremendous amount of carbon that need to be maintained in order to help stave off the worst impacts of global climate change.
Ontario should respect the Moose Cree protection initiative and work with the community to make sure the lands and waters are safeguarded permanently.
–Anna Baggio, Director Conservation Planning for CPAWS Wildlands League.
For more information please contact:
Anna Baggio, Director Conservation Planning, Tel: 416-453-3285 mobile.
KI RECAP: In 2008, leaders from the community of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, known as the KI Six, were jailed for peacefully opposing mineral exploration on their lands in the Boreal Forest (located 600km north of Thunder Bay). Cecilia Begg, Head Councillor from KI, a grandmother and five other leaders, including Chief Donnie Morris, were sentenced to six months in jail. This captured the nation’s attention and highlighted the need for Ontario’s antiquated mining laws to be reformed.
In 2012, Wildlands League welcomed the decision by the province to place 26,000 square kilometres off limits to mining. It was a direct result of the long principled stand by Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) to protect its lands and waters in the Boreal Forest so that their children and grandchildren can continue to pursue their usual vocations of hunting, trapping, and fishing.