OFL writes to McGuinty in support of KI

OFL:  "[W]e believe that the government must deliver on its 2008 promise of a joint panel to resolve KI’s outstanding issues with mining exploration. A moratorium must be placed on mining and exploration until an accord can be reached. We further support KI’s Water Declaration and Consultation Protocol and call on Ontario to fully recognize and respect these Indigenous laws."

 

Friday, January 27, 2012

RE: Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug

The Honourable Dalton McGuinty
Premier of Ontario
Room 281 – Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1

Re: Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug

Dear Premier:

In November, OFL convention delegates voted to support KI First Nation’s struggle against unwanted exploitation of its land by mining companies. Chief Donny Morris, one of our honoured guests, spoke to convention and met with numerous union heads, politicians, policy makers, faith communities and activists while he was there. At issue for all of us is God’s Lake Resources and the continued refusal of the provincial government to recognize and respect KI’s protection of its and sacred and ceremonial areas.

In November, KI sent the Minister of Northern Development and Mines a letter outlining its serious concerns with a process that fails to take into account outstanding issues. It is now mid-January and the fact that they have not yet even received the courtesy of a formal written reply is a stark example of the problems they are encountering. It is simply unacceptable. Earlier this month, Chief Morris was compelled to write another letter to Minister Bartolucci requesting information on GLR activities on their land. The continued lack of communication is extremely troubling and places KI at a serious disadvantage; it also belies the government’s public statements on the importance of respectful and cooperative dialogue with Aboriginal peoples.

Premier, whether or not the government agrees that it has a duty to consultation, the outcome of which requires KI’s consent, it makes eminent sense to ensure that information on GLR is communicated. Without a dialogue and flow of information, no resolution or positive outcome can ever be achieved. We are therefore strongly urging you to take this responsibility seriously. It is completely within the government’s power to share information, rather than bury or obstruct it.

In addition, we believe that the government must deliver on its 2008 promise of a joint panel to resolve KI’s outstanding issues with mining exploration. A moratorium must be placed on mining and exploration until an accord can be reached. We further support KI’s Water Declaration and Consultation Protocol and call on Ontario to fully recognize and respect these Indigenous laws.
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We are urging you to demonstrate the government’s good faith.

We would be pleased to meet with you further on this matter.

Yours truly,

SID RYAN, President
Ontario Federation of Labour

IRWIN NANDA, Executive Vice-President
Ontario Federation of Labour

JOANNE WEBB, Vice-President
OFL Aboriginal Persons

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cc: The Hon. Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines
Andrea Horwath, Leader, Ontario New Democratic Party
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Chief Donny Morris
OFL Executive Board, Executive Council
OFL Aboriginal Circle
Winne Ng, Ryerson
Don Moran, CUPE National

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