[R-G] Algonquins resume blockade at Sharbot Lake uranium site
fentona at shaw.ca
Fri Feb 8 10:37:03 MST 2008
Algonquins resume blockade at Sharbot Lake uranium site
Last Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2008 | 2:12 PM ET
Protesters from two First Nations communities have resumed blocking a
prospective uranium mining site in eastern Ontario.
The Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations returned to the
site near Sharbot Lake, Ont., after mediation talks with the Ontario
government that began last fall broke down.
Robert Lovelace, co-chief of the Ardoch First Nation, said the
are standing outside the gate to the site because they are concerned the
mining exploration company Frontenac Ventures Corp. will start test
there, as it is legally entitled to do.
"We're monitoring the site and if Frontenac Ventures attempts to bring a
drill onto the site, we'll blockade that drill," he said Wednesday.
The protesters began occupying the site in June 2007, but suspended
occupation in October 2007 after reaching an agreement with the
government to begin mediation talks.
Lovelace announced in January that protesters would start reoccupying
site near the end of the month, despite a court order forbidding them to
do so, unless the province stopped Frontenac Ventures from doing further
work there. They began their reoccupation Monday.
Neil Smitheman, a lawyer for the company, said Ontario Provincial Police
are monitoring activity around the property but aren't enforcing the
"This is an order of the court and the administration of justice
brought into disrepute if it's not followed. You can't, in a free and
democratic society, ignore court orders," he said.
Uranium mining talks collapse
Aboriginal groups in land dispute now set 'to secure our territory
Geoff Nixon, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Thursday, February 07, 2008
Negotiations over the future of Eastern Ontario lands marked for uranium
mining by a private corporation have fallen apart, leaving those
ready "to secure our territory," says a spokesman for one of the two
aboriginal groups involved in the debate.
Since September, mediated talks have been ongoing between the
two aboriginal groups, the Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan First
Nations communities, which oppose a plan by Frontenac Ventures
to mine for uranium in the Sharbot Lake area.
Robert Lovelace, a retired chief who is acting as a negotiator for the
Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, told the Citizen yesterday that the talks
ended earlier this week after the sides could not come to a resolution.
"The mediator called an end to the negotiations," he said.
He said there are no immediate plans to resume the talks.
Since Monday, Mr. Lovelace said his people have been asking Frontenac
Ventures employees not to enter their site while the mediations are not
"We're left in a situation where we simply have to secure our
said Mr. Lovelace, who noted that both groups have people watching over
He and other mining opponents will approach Ottawa City Council this
morning to ask for support for a total ban on uranium mining and
pros-pecting in Eastern Ontario.
The dispute over the future of the 5,000-hectare property near Clarendon
Station started last summer when Frontenac Ventures began conducting
surveys of the land.
In June of last year, members of the Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot
Obaadjiwan First Nations communities formed a "tent city" and
an access point to the property on the side of Highway 509, about 12
kilometres north of Highway 7.
They stayed at the entrance of the site until the mediated negotiations
began last fall.
Chief Doreen Davis, who is representing the Shabot Obaadjiwan First
Nations community in the negotiations, could not immediately be reached
for comment yesterday.
Prior to the end of the mediation process with the province, Chief Davis
had told the Citizen she believed slow, but steady progress had been
during the talks.
"I think we've progressed from the very beginning," she said last week.
"We've got a long, long way to go, but I think I'm not surprised at
we are. It's about where I thought we'd be after 10-12 weeks."
Chief Davis also said that Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations people would
block access to the site should the company attempt to begin drilling.
Kathy Nosich, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Northern Development and
Mines -- the branch of the provincial government that had been handling
the talks -- said the government was "disappointed" the two sides could
not come to a resolution.
"We were very disappointed that the mediation wasn't successful," Ms.
"For our part, Ontario did engage in good faith in that process. And we
funded that entire process, including the cost of the mediator and the
legal counsel for the Shabots and the Ardochs."
He added that police don't seem capable of enforcing court orders in
disputes with aboriginal groups throughout the province, in places
Deseronto and Caledonia.
"All we know is we are loath to depend upon the local police for
enforcement of the judge's order," he said.
The company has brought contempt of court charges against several
protesters for blocking entry to the site and the case is back in court
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