First Nation leaders ready to go to jail to stop mine


First Nation leaders ready to go to jail to stop mine


(c) 2007 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.


THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The chief and other councillors of a remote northern Ontario aboriginal community are prepared to go to jail for disobeying a court order that allows exploratory drilling on what they consider traditional lands.


At a Superior Court hearing Friday, counsel for Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) said his clients accept they were in contempt of Justice Patrick Smith's order giving Platinex Inc. the green light for the first phase of drilling and archeological pre-screening activity in the Big Trout Lake area.


When asked how a confrontation could be avoided, Christopher Reid replied he didn't have an answer.


Friday's hearing followed a full day of closed-door meetings Thursday between representatives of KI, Platinex and the provincial government.


However, nothing was resolved and the contempt hearing went ahead.


Smith did rule that KI was in contempt of his Oct. 25 order, which was intended to allow the Toronto-area junior mining company to proceed with drilling 24 holes, each five centimetres in diameter.


(The Canadian Press)(Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal)