Ontario MPP weighs in on federal plan to renew mining contracts

Government missteps forced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to renew mining contracts in Grassy Narrows are a glaring example of colonial laws built on white supremacy, says Ontario MPP Gord Brown.

This recent decision is part of a “calculated retreat” after Trudeau’s government took a tough line on environmental issues in the West, says Brown, who represents the seat in the legislature that the Mackenzie River Settlement was carved out.

Brown published a blog about the decision.

It’s the latest setback in Ontario’s longstanding struggles over resource development, social justice and indigenous issues. There’s almost no real social consensus in the province on which policies to support, he said.

“The issue is fundamental: let’s get people in the room and have honest conversation about how resource development and the way it’s implemented has an impact on the social justice agenda,” he said.

“I believe we should continue to progress on land claims, which are more sensitive issues than any mining project would be, but I think we have to really take a look at whether we’re going in the right direction, and I think we’re moving backwards.”

The Mackenzie River Settlement area was once part of the Superior Plains, also known as the Middle Battle. The area had a population of 500, many of them “warriors from the Algonquin tribes,” the Citizen reported in 1975.

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