Corporate & Native Resource Update: November 2012 Mid Report

Mid November 2012, reviewed from the perspective of my book – Resource Rulers: Fortune and Folly on Canada’s Road to Resources so that Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association (CAMA) conference attendees can be right up to date.


Nov 01: The Alberta Government introduced Bill 2 – the “Responsible Energy Development Act” – in the Legislative Assembly.  It contains previously unforeseen provisions respecting the new regulator’s mandate that are sure to gall native strategists. Readers can decide for themselves if this is the best way to promote constructive crown / native relations (author’s underlining for emphasis):

Not a Crown agent:  s4 “The Regulator is not an agent of the Crown.”

Crown consultation with aboriginal peoples: S21: “The regulator has no jurisdiction with respect to assessing the adequacy of Crown consultation associated with the rights of aboriginal peoples as recognized and affirmed under Part II of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Alberta’s Energy Minister was quoted by CBC: “This new system will be more effective and efficient for industry and landowners”.


Nov 06/07: Solid Gold Resources drew heavy criticism from Ontario natives over a shoot-from-the-lip presentation by its CEO before the Ontario Prospectors Association in Sudbury. His target was Wasgoshig First Nation, who’s chief took to the airwaves in defense saying that he’s “fed up with it” referring to the “nasty, racial things and issues” that have coloured Solid Gold’s public dialogue in the Abitibi play.


Nov 08 / 09:  Nishnawbe Aski Nation / Batchewana First Nation / AFN publicly aligned in support and took collective aim at the CEO’s insinuations as to “handouts”  “extortion” “forced business arrangements” (reported in detail in the Sudbury Star).


Nov 09: the latest northern uranium play to go down in flames was Uravan’s Garry Lake project – 6 years and $4 million in pre-development – slated to go before the Nunavut Impact Review Board for an environmental review. Instead, Uravan let its claims expire and left the north in a blaze of frustration. Readers can decide for themselves if there’s a social license issue impeding this project. Here’s the CEO burning his bridges over that regulatory review requirement:

“This is all fallacy, this fear of impacting caribou on the sub-arctic barrenslands with exploration activity … You realize our footprint is so small, and our activity is so short, any kind of impact is … is just nonsense talk”. (quoted on CBC)


Nov 13: The Liard First Nation asserted that it’s going to enforce its legal veto over the issuance of new oil and gas rights in the southeast (Kotaneelee) gas fields. The chief says that indeed he has a legal veto under the Yukon Oil and Gas Act. The reader can again be the judge – the key part of the legislative provision follows:

13 (1) …. the minister shall not issue new dispositions having locations in the traditional territory of the Yukon First Nation … without the consent of the Yukon First Nation. (author’s underlining for emphasis)

Now the Yukon Territorial Government wants to repeal this provision saying that it was only meant to be an interim safeguard pending settlement of final land claims that have yet to be concluded.


Nov 13: Petroworth Resources announced that its farm-in drilling partner just backed out of a play near Lake Ainseley / Margaree Valley in Cape Breton. According to the CEO as reported on the CBC : “One of the parties – the discussions were fairly advanced – decided not to proceed primarily based on, I guess the rather vehement opposition … As discouraging as it is, we’re still determined to get the well drilled.”

That opposition was mainly from Cape Breton natives who protested the project on the Canso Causeway over an extended period in September. Readers will be interested in understanding how these same natives pick and choose who to work with (corporately) as profiled in Chapter 2 of my book: The Maritimes: Loggerheads.


Nov 12 /13: Barbara Yaffe, the Vancouver Sun’s national political columnist, profiled my book. Click here to read the article.


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