New Gold’s Rainy River operation falls within the revenue sharing agreement that covers Treaty #3 territory. (Image: New Gold)
TORONTO – Calling the agreements the first of their kind, the Ontario government has come through with its long-awaited plan for sharing mining and forestry revenues with First Nations. Queen’s Park announced on May 3 that it had signed agreements with 32 First Nations so that they may directly benefit from natural resource revenues. (Readers should note that a provincial election is a month away.)
The province has agreed to give 40% of the annual mining tax and royalties from mines active at the time the agreements were signed to First Nations represented by Grand Council Treaty #3, Wabun Tribal Council and Mushkegowuk Council. The government will share 45% of taxes and royalties from future mines and from forestry stumpage. The agreements will come into force in 2019.
The First Nations are to have full control over how these funds are disbursed.