Blockade against Frontenac has been lifted

Blockade against Frontenac has been lifted

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John Ahni Schertow
October 20, 2007
 

Following the Ontario government’s agreement to 12 weeks of mediation with the Sharbot Obaadjiwan and Ardoch Algonquins, the blockade at Frontenac Ventures’ uranium mining site has been lifted, allowing the company onto the land for the first time in months.

Yesterday, an agreement was signed in which the Ontario government pledged to consult the two Peoples on the future of the mine; and that an independent observer would be appointed to oversea the company’s work during the mediation process.

Robert Lovelace, a spokesman for those at the site, said the decision to lift the blockade is a show of good faith after Ontario’s move. “The direct action was important and I think very successful,” he said of the protest, which began in early summer.

Frontenac is hoping that lifting the blockade means everyone’s going to leave the site now, but a presence will be maintained.

For more news, please visit The Frontenac Uranium Standoff. Below you will find the Shabot Obaadjiwan and Ardoch Algonquin’ proposal for Mediation, dated October 2, 2007 (courtesy of http://www.ccamu.ca/)

Re: Shabot Obaadjiwan and Ardoch Algonquin First Nations
Clarendon Mine Site Occupation; Proposal for Mediation

Dear Sir:

On August 29, 2007 Ministers Ramsay and Bartolucci wrote to accept our request for consultations to resolve the issues which led to our decision to act to protect our land from uranium mining and exploration. To date, two meetings have been held, on September 15 and September 29. Unfortunately the parties have so far been unable to agree on the agenda for these discussions. In the absence of an agenda we have been unable to begin the process of consultations which Ministers Ramsay and Bartolucci indicated Ontario was prepared to engage in.

In an effort to break this impasse, at our September 29, 2007 meeting we proposed a process of mediation. We were encouraged when it was agreed in principal by the representatives of Ontario and Canada that mediation was the most appropriate means of resolving this matter.

In light of this tentative agreement, Shabot and Ardoch agreed to provide a proposal for mediation. Our proposal is as follows:

1. The parties (the two First Nation communities, Ontario and Canada) will choose a mutually acceptable mediator to mediate the resolution of this matter. The rules for the conduct of the mediation will be determined by the parties in consultation with the mediator.

2. Mineral exploration and mining will be suspended until the mediation is either concluded or fails.

3. Shabot and Ardoch will suspend the occupation of the site during the course of the mediation. Frontenac Ventures will not have access to the site for any purpose whatsoever.

4. The issues for mediation will be determined by the parties but at a minimum will include the staking of mining claims and the issuance of mining leases in the subject area, the resolution of all issues in the litigation between Frontenac Ventures, Shabot, Ardoch and the named individuals in this litigation and Ontario, other issues relating to exploration and mining and interim measures with respect to mining and exploration in the subject area.

5. The mediator will have the authority to issue a report and make recommendations to the parties and to the general public.

6. The costs of the mediation will be borne by Ontario and Canada. These costs will include but may not be limited to the costs of the mediator and all facilities regarding the mediation, the costs of any experts that are retained, and the fees and disbursements of legal counsel.

We are cautiously optimistic that this matter can be resolved and believe that this proposal provides the parties with the opportunity to do so. As we have repeatedly advised your government and the Court, it is our desire to resolve this dispute through a negotiated process. As you know, we are simply following the recommendations of Commissioner Linden and the Ipperwash Inquiry, as well as the directions of the Supreme Court of Canada, by taking the position that this matter must be resolved through negotiations. We respectfully request that you and your Government and the Government of Canada do the same.

We trust the above is satisfactory and look forward to your timely response.

Yours truly,

Yours truly,

Chief Doreen Davis
Shabot Obaajiwan First Nation Co Chief Paula Sherman
Ardoch Algonquin First Nation

cc. The Honourable Mr. Justice Cunningham
Hon. Chuck Strahl
Neil Smitheman
Owen Young
Brian Crane
Robin Aitken
Stephen Reynolds
Chris Reid

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