ONTARIO – The Wabauskang First Nation (WFN) has served notice that it is going to court to oppose construction of the Phoenix gold mine belonging to Rubicon Minerals Corp. of Vancouver. The project is located near Red Lake.
“This has been an extremely frustrating process for our First Nation from day one,” said Wabauskang Chief Leslie Cameron. “Despite our concerns that the entire process review was deeply flawed, Rubicon refused to withdraw its mine application last fall and Ontario approved it over our objections. We didn’t want to go to court, so even though we don’t think Ontario had the authority to approve the mine, we tried to work with the company over the last year to resolve our concerns. We’ve been unsuccessful, so we’re forced to go to court to ensure that our interests are protected.”
Relying on last year’s court win by the Grassy Narrows First Nation, Wabauskang has consistently taken the position that only Canada, not Ontario, can justify an infringement of its treaty rights. Wabauskang has also repeatedly complained to both Ontario and the federal government that constitutional obligations to consult and accommodate have been wrongly delegated to mining companies.
Chief Cameron added that until Wabauskang’s rights and interests are respected, Wabauskang will actively oppose all of Rubicon’s activities on Treaty 3 lands.
The chief may be contacted at 807-464-0987.
Rubicon (RubiconMinerals.com), for its part, said late on Monday that it remains committed to further discussions with Wabauskang First Nation.