32. The Solid Gold Resources Case: Ontario’s Sovereignty Giveaway

The intellectuals whom Julian Benda attacks in the 1920’s in his Trahison Des Clercs, for abstraction and excessive theoretical reasoning, saw nothing of a betrayal in their stance- for them abstraction was truth.   – Tony Judt, Thinking the Twentieth Century1

Sometimes the Crown is unhelpful. -Lawyer Richard J. King 2


According to Haida Nation, it’s the Crown which has the duty to consult “affected” Indians, not the private sector. But the Crown can delegate the “operational aspects” of this duty to the private sector company involved in any particular situation. The Crown’s policy response to this has been, in many instances, like in Frontenac Ventures and Platinex, to purport to download to the private sector virtually all of the practicalities involved in fulfilling this duty, including, very significantly, paying or funding virtually all the costs involved in it.

Amidst all the drama of what was happening to them neither Frontenac Ventures nor Platinex thought to argue that the Crown, and they (by delegated extension), had no duty to consult in the first place, and then to conduct their cases based on that basic position.

They can’t be faulted for that. The post-Haida Nation situation they found themselves in was new legal territory and there were no direct legal precedents to be guided by. In the context of the fast-changing and chaotic circumstances that were occurring on the ground they had limited time and resources to mine down to bedrock first legal principles and really think about what was happening to them. In these situations very often not every argument is thought of and made.

In any event Platinex and Frontenac should not have had to have thought of and made this argument. The provincial Crown should have thought of it and made it on their behalves. Had Ontario’s politicians and senior bureaucrats, prior to that time, not so willingly, enthusiastically and unthinkingly embraced the devolutionary “spirit” of Haida Nation – had they not been so seemingly oblivious to the core principle of defending fundamental Crown sovereignty – the argument would surely have occurred to them.

In fact, so caught up in this devolutionary “spirit” were they that Ontario had provisionally amended the Mining Act to impose by statute a duty to consult on all companies in the position of Frontenac and Platinex – companies with already existing Crown leases, licenses and other such rights, none of which required any further Crown consents or permissions to exercise. “Provisionally” because these amendments (now seriously contentious because they may have been based on a complete legal misapprehension of the true meaning and scope of Haida Nation – see immediately below), had not yet been proclaimed into law and so as of that time had no legal effect.

But in 2011 another small mining company in the same situation as Frontenac and Platinex had been, and in the process of being given the same danegeld treatment they had got, and again with the Ontario Crown shamefully encouraging it to submit to this treatment, did argue that the Crown, and therefore it, had no duty to consult or to submit to the particular Indians’ shakedown demands, with profound and important ramifications for the principle of necessary and legitimate Crown sovereignty.

From the Sudbury Star, January 6th, 2012:3

COURT HALTS DRILLING TIMMINS – Wahgoshig First Nation has won an injunction to halt mining exploration in an area it claims as sacred ground.

In a decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice delivered Tuesday, Solid Gold Resources Corporation was ordered to stop drilling on its claims block near Wahgoshig for 120 days. The Court ordered that Solid Gold and Wahgoshig must enter into a process of “meaningful consultation and accomodation” during this injunction period. If a resolution is not reached Wahgoshig can seek an extension of the injunction at that time. Darryl Stretch, president of Solid Gold, said it was a “very bad day for mining exploration in Canada.”

He told the Daily Press his company had gone through the proper channels with the provincial government only to be “blindsided” by unresolved treaty claims.

“I have to tell you, I have a lot of animosity towards the Crown (province) right at this moment,” Stretch said. “I spent $5 million of shareholders” money and invested it in that area because the Crown invited us to do that.-in fact, encouraged us to do that. And at the time we began the process in 2007, knowing we were going to have a good mining market and it was going to be a good time to explore, it was one of the best places on the planet to explore because the Mining Act allows us to in there, do what was necessary and still take care of the environment , the Cemetaries Act and all the other things explorers have to do in the 21st century. We did all of those things and we get blindsided by First Nations.”

All they have to do anymore is say, “Oh, that’s sacred ground over there. We don’t know where the bodies are but it’s up to you guys to go find them for us. And until you’ve done that, it’s all sacred ground. And you can’t do anything there until you get our permission.” Stretch said he would have expected Wahgoshig’s treaty claims to have been resolved long before the government opened the area for exploration and mineral staking. “I think it’s virtually impossible to do exploration now unless you pay the First Nations.”
The decision, he added, will make other junior companies wary of investing in Canada.

Stretch said there were “about 25 people working on this project and believe me when I tell you, they are all out of work.” While admitting to his frustration by the court’s decision, Stretch said, “We’re obviously interested in looking for that resolution. Somehow, the parties have to heal. I always thought it was for the government to do those kinds of things, to make things comfortable. But I guess in this case, it was easier to throw Solid Gold under the bus than it was to negotiate something with the First Nations that everyone could live with.”

QMI Agency made efforts to speak with Wahgoshing Chief Dave Babin but was unable to reach him.

As in the cases of Platinex and God’s Lake Resources, the mineral exploration activities of Solid Gold were being lawfully conducted on Crown land expressly surrendered to the Crown by the James Bay Treaty No. 9, made in 1905 and 1906. As in the Robinson treaties, the Indian signatories had expressly agreed that Indians could pursue their traditional vocations of hunting, fishing and trapping on the surrendered lands “subject to such regulations as may from time to time be made by the government of the country…and saving and excepting such tracts as may be required or taken up from time to time for settlement, mining, lumbering, trading or other purposes.”

Again, as with similar, express “non-interference” wording in the Robinson- Huron treaties, it seems inexplicable why our courts, governments and media – why our victimized natural resource industry – all seem to treat this seemingly  profound and game-changing wording as if it doesn’t exist – as if it should be naturally subordinate to the Haida Nation consult and accommodate obligation.

Notwithstanding that the claims that the corporate predecessor of Solid Gold had acquired in 2007 did not come with any “duty to consult” condition attached to them, and that Solid Gold’s rights under the claims were not expressly subject to any pre-condition that the Crown fulfill any duty to consult it may have had towards any nearby Indian band, in July of 2009 Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) sent Solid Gold a letter advising it: “to consult with Aboriginal communities as soon as possible” regarding their exploration plans. The letter also explained to Solid Gold that:

MNDM is now providing Aboriginal communities with quarterly maps which will show mining claims in the general vicinity of Aboriginal communities, accompanied by a report that provides the name of the claim holder, claim number and location of each of the claims on the map.

This was misguided and wrong conduct on the part of MNDM. Haida Nation didn’t oblige it to do any of this.  This was, by acts of administrative discretion, extending  Haida Nation, probably, in the minds of those responsible, necessary to do in order to fulfill the “honour of the Crown.” But this was purely discretionary Crown conduct “honourable” only to the point of emasculating its own power and sovereignty.

This was anti-Crown sovereignty, anti-private sector, unthinking, harmful, meddlesome overreaching on the part of Ontario’s politicians and senior bureaucrats. It was throwing red meat to the bored, restless Indian elites in the area – virtually inviting and encouraging them to think up an “adverse impact” claim, assert it against Solid Gold and demand to be consulted and “accommodated” for it i.e. paid danegeld.

And so, armed with this mischievious Crown encouragement and all this information about Solid Gold provided to it by MNDM, that’s just what the Wahgoshig First Nation (WFN) did. In the Fall of 2011, after Solid Gold had already spent that five million dollars investigating the potential of its claims, the company received a letter from WFN’s Toronto lawyers, which read in part as follows:

We are legal counsel to Wahgoshig First Nation “WFN”). WFN is open to development activities (including mining and mineral exploration), as long as such development occurs with adequate consultation and accommodation, as the law requires. In our experience, this usually requires full engagement with the First Nation, protection of its traditional territory and relationship with the land, protection of its rights, culture, society and fair compensation for any impacts and fair sharing of benefits from such developments…. WFN expects that there be no further mineral exploration or related activity on Solid Gold’s Lake Abitibi claim until consultation and accommodation has occurred…

This area is of extreme importance to WFN. It contains historic burial grounds and village sites, crucial hunting, fishing and trapping areas, is considered the birthplace of the Abitibi people (including WFN) and is a sacred place to WFN…Yet Solid Gold has undertaken drilling in this area without any land use and occupancy study of WFN’s use, values in and attachment to this area (thus without any understanding of how WFN’s rights and values would be impacted) and without any archaeological assessment. For all we know, drilling might have damaged or destroyed important heritage sites, including burial grounds already…substantive…consultation and accommodation must occur before any mineral exploration is allowed to commence.

The letter went on to outline how WFN expected to be “accommodated”:

Requirements and mechanisms to avoid or minimize impacts on the environment, First Nations rights and culture, including targeted land use study in the area, targeted archaeological study in the area, ongoing environmental monitoring by the First Nation and reporting by the company, compensation for any impacts on the environment, rights, culture, etc., provisions for business and employment opportunities to the First Nation and its members on a first priority basis (provided such are qualified and competitive) and requirement to have an IBA past the pre-feasibility stage.

Finally, as if to ensure that no pennies would be left on the bargaining table for Solid Gold Resources:

In addition, it is standard practice for the mineral exploration company to pay the First Nation’s costs in the consultation and accommodation process. Thus the first step in such process is often to jointly develop and agree on a workplan and budget….

A copy of this letter, the contents of which demonstrate that WFN seemed to think that they’d seceded from Canada and set up their own country in the Lake Abitibi area, was sent to the Ontario Minister of MNDM, the Minister of Natural Resources and to the “Senior Aboriginal Liason Officer” of MNDM (obviously a “special purpose” position set up by Ontario so that it could, with maximum efficiency, better give away its sovereignty to Indian bands).

Shamefully, these high and esteemed politicians and this senior bureaucrat must have approved of these extortionate contents because none of them objected in any way to them and, in the injunction proceeding that followed, the Crown, of which these people were some of the highest representatives, supported WFN, not Solid Gold.

But while these Ministers and this and numerous other senior bureaucrats did not see the merit in defending the sovereignty of the Crown – in defending the integrity, autonomy and basic fairness of Ontario’s mining system – Solid Gold did see the merit in these things, and it did (of course for strong reasons of self-interest as well), defend them. It did meet with WFN as instructed to do so, but no accommodation satisfactory to WFN could be reached. Their demands remained unshakably excessive and outrageous.

As just one example of this, at one point chief Babin demanded a $100,000 (!) lump sum payment for an archaeological study – cash bribery by any other name pure and simple.  Solid Gold couldn’t and wouldn’t pay this or pay or fund any of the other danegeld terms demanded.

MNDM, ostensibly playing the role of “conciliator,” took the position with Solid Gold that Solid Gold’s (delegated) consultation efforts with WFN were “inadequate.” There was a standoff.

Solid Gold got sued and, in the court proceeding, again so shockingly and so shamefully, the Crown sided with WFN – essentially arguing that WFN had parallel jurisdiction with it over mining – essentially arguing against the operational validity and fiscal sanity of its own mining system – essentially arguing that not only should Solid Gold shoulder the delegated “operational” brunt of the Crown’s duty to consult, but that it should also shoulder all the Crown’s costs involved in fulfilling this Crown duty as well, including funding or paying all the danegeld terms.

Solid Gold lost. It was ordered by Justice Brown to cease its exploration program and enter into the danegeld consult and accommodate process with WFN.

Courageous, stubborn, principled Solid Gold sought leave from the Superior Court of Justice to appeal Justice Brown’s decision. It argued that the Crown, and therefore it, had no duty to consult – that there was nothing enacted  and proclaimed in the Mining Act that obligated them to do so – that their exploration rights had arisen in 2007 when their corporate predecessor had acquired the claims – that by 2011 these rights were now established, past-acquired rights – that in 2011, when their tribulations began, the Crown, through its valid claims holder, Solid Gold, was not engaging in any proposed Crown or Crown-authorized undertaking or activity that required any Crown permission or involvement –  that Solid Gold in 2011 had independent rights to explore that it could exercise without the need for any further permits or licences from the Crown – that the situation was akin to that in Rio Tinto where, because there were only past Crown actions involved and no contemplated, proposed or future Crown actions, there was no duty to consult and therefore the purported delegation of this non-existent duty by the Crown to Solid Gold was illegal and improper.

In its written submissions filed in Solid Gold’s leave to appeal application the Ontario Crown wrote that the Crown did have the duty to consult WFN about Solid Gold’s exploration activities and that it had legitimately delegated the “procedural aspects” of this duty (again, the Crown basically meaning “all of it”) to Solid Gold, but that Solid Gold had failed to properly act on the Crown’s direction in this regard. In other words, Solid Gold, for failing to follow MNDM’s instructions to adequately “consult” WFN on the Crown’s behalf, and for failing to open its wallet to WFN wide enough on the Crown’s behalf, was basically the author of its own misfortune. It wrote that “…Justice Brown’s Order is entirely consistent with the developing jurisprudence on the constitutional requirements of s. 35 aboriginal consultation” and that there was “…no reason to doubt the correctness of the Order.”

In oral arguments before Mr. Justice Wilton-Siegel, the judge hearing the leave application, Ontario, still taking a position against its own corporate citizen – against its own taxpayer and job-creator – continued to argue that the injunction order was valid. However, and very tellingly, indicating perhaps for the first time that it was having some doubts about a position it had unthinkingly maintained and basically forced upon mining companies for years – i.e. that mining companies holding long-established claims requiring no present or contemplated Crown decisions or involvement still had a duty to consult nearby Indian bands about their exploration programs – as Justice Wilton-Siegel stated in his written decision, (cited immediately below)  “…refrained from acknowledging that a duty to consult had been triggered.” (!)

This is very significant, but also very disturbing. In the court of first instance, when the original injunction proceeding was being heard, Ontario had argued that the duty to consult had been triggered: that it existed and informed the case.

If Ontario – as the result of Solid Gold’s refusal to allow itself to be bullied and walked over by the combined squeeze play of WFN and MNDM – as the result of Solid Gold’s appeal of Justice Brown’s original injunction order – had woken up to the possibility that maybe there was no duty to consult on the part of a company in Solid Gold’s position – that maybe the duty to consult had not been triggered after all (!) – then acting honourably, it should have advised the court of that and supported Solid Gold’s application to have a full hearing of the issue by the Ontario Court of Appeal. This would have resulted in the rare, admirable and beneficial sight of the Crown joining a corporate citizen in an effort to trim back one of the excesses of Haida Nation.

Solid Gold’s application for leave to appeal was allowed.4 The judge found enough merit in Solid Gold’s arguments to conclude that perhaps Justice Brown had got it wrong on the very important issue of the existence of the duty to consult. He ruled that there was “serious doubt” that Haida Nation applied to Ontario, and by delegated extension to Solid Gold, in this situation.

As he wrote:

…the “free entry” system established under the Mining Act does not provide for any action on the part of Ontario in relation to Solid Gold’s activities. As a result the conclusion to be drawn from Haida Nation and (Rio Tinto) is that a new duty to consult did not arise at the time Solid Gold established its exploration programme.

This is extraordinary. Years of post-Haida Nation Crown behavior were called into question by this statement – years of unthinking Crown sovereignty giveaway behavior. Perhaps the provisional amendments to the Mining Act had been mistakenly based! Perhaps Ontario’s “Senior Aboriginal Liason Officer” had no legally-based business sending out all those letters to mining exploration companies, like the one Solid Gold got, instructing them to seek out nearby Indian bands and “consult” with them! Perhaps he had no legally-based business stirring up trouble for these companies by informing nearby Indian bands of their existence, their claims and their activities, and so mischieviously inviting them to make the kind of danegeld demands that WFN’s Toronto lawyers made against Solid Gold!

With the release of Justice Wilton-Siegel’s decision the Ontario government found itself at a moral, legal and political crossroads. One road, the road it was already on, was the road of continued deliberate, seemingly enthusiastic giving away of Crown sovereignty. The other road now meeting it, a new road made by Justice Wilton-Siegel’s decision, was the road of taking back some of that previously given away Crown sovereignty. Which road would Ontario’s politicians and senior bureaucrats choose to go down?

For years since the deciding of Haida Nation they had been telling mining companies in the position of Solid Gold – mining companies carrying out exploration work under existing, past-acquired claims where the exercise of rights under them required no further, present or proposed Crown involvement or consents – that they had to consult, in essence as delegatee of the Crown, and at their own seemingly limitless expense, with any nearby Indian band that claimed, however speciously, adverse impact.

Justice Wilton-Siegel’s decision told them that they may have gotten this horribly wrong – that they and the Crown they represented here may have been seriously mistaken in their interpretation of the reach of Haida Nation. Would they continue to support Justice Brown’s order in the Court of Appeal? Would they continue to say to the private sector: “The duty to consult exists here and its our duty but we’re downloading to you almost the entire job of fulfilling it, including all the costs involved.” Or would they admit their now-present doubts that the Crown (and therefore Solid Gold) had a duty to consult WFN?

Would they reconsider their past kneejerk assumption that Haida Nation principles applied in the Solid Gold situation and could be delegated to Solid Gold and all the many other mining companies in the same position as it?

Having now experienced several years of emasculation of Crown sovereignty, economic harm and instability, and a lessening of respect for law and order, all caused by Haida Nation, would they now re-think their hitherto careless indifference to the erosion of Crown sovereignty, seize this opportunity to take some power back, and support Solid Gold in the Court of Appeal, and more importantly, support necessary and desirable Crown sovereignty?

Was there such a degree of political and bureaucratic fear, fecklessness, face-saving, false pride and inertia on the part of Ontario’s politicians and senior bureaucrats that they would decide, in the face of compelling new jurisprudence to the contrary, to continue their past devolutionary march of folly?

As stated, at this crossroads, they had a fundamental moral, legal and political decision to make.

I obviously believe that, for the public good – for all the reasons stated in this essay – for the sake of public confidence in the fact that what the Ontario Crown had for years been forcing companies like Solid Gold to do was legally-based – they had a public, fiduciary-like duty to let this case go to the Court of Appeal for a decision, and to hold off taking anything like the horrendous course of action they ultimately took (described below).

If Ontario chose not to – if it chose to double down on all its past mistakes and misjudgments – if it chose to cover things up as much as possible and to continue to exclude the citizenry from any debate of first principles in this crucial area of Canadian life – if it was afraid of a Court of Appeal decision that might show it had been wrong all those years – if it wanted to continue to carelessly and likely unnecessarily  continue to give away huge chunks of its sovereignty and powers – then it could, by cabinet decree, simply proclaim into law the provisional “duty to consult” Mining Act amendments, and that would be the short-term end of it. With the duty to consult statutorily imposed on Solid Gold, their appeal would become moot. Problem gone. Potential embarrassment avoided.

Such a cabinet decree would be legal. Such a statutorily-imposed duty to consult would have to be carried out. Justice Wilton-Siegel’s intellectually muscular and inherently pro-Crown sovereignty decision, (which expressly said that Ontario could make that cabinet decree) would be nullified. Haida Nation would then be voluntarily extended to circumstances well beyond its originally intended scope and reach.  Solid Gold’s win would be nullified as well and it and the entire mining industry it bravely represented would be robbed of an important court decision that might have expressly restored some much-needed sovereignty to the Crown and thusly enabled some fiscal and business sanity to be put back into, not just Ontario’s mining industry, but Ontario’s overall resource sector as a whole.

If Ontario took this latter course of action, this would be Ontario, at the crossroads, choosing to take, for it, the easy road – the dishonourable, devolutionary road most recently travelled. Taking this road would be the making of a further declaration against the principle of necessary and desirable sole Crown sovereignty – it would be Crown self-emasculating behavior of an entirely new order of magnitude – it would be reckless Crown conduct of the most destructive kind.

Ontario chose to go down that easy, reckless road.

On October 10th, 2012, in direct response to Justice Wilton-Siegel’s decision – to avoid having its serious and harmful misinterpretation  of Haida Nation made clear and public-to hasten to cover up its mistakes – to trample on the rights of Solid Gold and the countless mining companies in Ontario similarly situated – to preserve political and bureaucratic face and fiefdoms – to deliberately and completely unnecessarily further surrender and diminish necessary and desirable Crown sovereignty – Ontario, by cabinet decree, proclaimed into law those hitherto provisional-only duty to consult Mining Act amendments.

It is now the law of Ontario that, as of April 1st 2013, a mining company, in order to explore a claim it has staked, must apply for an exploration permit(And so, a request for a Crown permission or consent to a proposed action being made, Haida Nation is engaged.) Before the permit will be issued the exploration proponent must consult with any Aboriginal community who claims that such exploration may have “adverse effects” on their existing or asserted Aboriginal or treaty rights.”

The proponent must then file a “consultation report” describing “any arrangements reached with an Aboriginal community or the efforts made to reach such an arrangement.” The exploration permit will only be issued if Ontario “is satisfied that appropriate Aboriginal consultation has been carried out.”  Ontario can put a “temporary hold” on the permit application process “if there are concerns raised by Aboriginal communities which (in Ontario’s opinion) warrant additional time to adequately consider.”

In a generous gesture to the already-burgeoning consult and accommodate branch of the Indian industry Ontario has given itself the right to continue to pass the buck by, to “facilitate consultation,” referring disputes (and there will, as before, always be disputes if the exploration company refuses to be financially shaken down to the satisfaction or liking of the particular Indian band (or bands!) involved) to “dispute resolution” specialists – usually very expensive Toronto-based mediators and arbitrators.

Constituting a deliberate, de facto surrendering of power over land back to Indians that Indians expressly surrendered to the Crown by treaty – Crown land that the Crown has responsibly managed for the benefit of us all for over a century – the new law gives Indian bands the right to apply to have sites of “Aboriginal cultural significance” withdrawn from prospecting so mining claims cannot be staked there!

What a terrible, reckless, irresponsible, dishonourable thing Ontario did! Deliberately and unnecessarily further surrendering its own power and sovereignty over its own lands, while knowing that there was very possibly no underlying legal basis for it! – further harming its own mining sector, one of the only bright lights in Ontario’s dimming and darkening economy-deep-sixing a compelling, new legal precedent in favour of Crown sovereignty and, by legislating away this important and beneficial (to all) court victory and rendering its appeal moot (as confirmed by the Ontario Court of Appeal in January, 2013), shamefully and almost deliberately  sticking it to Solid Gold, its brave (but now shut down) lawfully acting and job-creating corporate citizen.

Postscript: In late 2012 Darryl Stretch, President of Solid Gold, as part of some larger scheme involving a takeover of Solid Gold by another junior mining company, was fired by his board of directors. The acquiring company has already worked out a danegeld deal in principle with WFN, which band no doubt made its number one demand the dismissal of Mr. Stretch – the brave man who dared say that the emperor had no clothes – the only person in the whole scenario who stood up for Crown sovereignty – the man who should have been supported by Ontario instead of betrayed, and praised by his company and his industry rather than buried.

Thus the so-often typical, unfair and undeserved fate of the erstwhile conventional businessman who, on some ground of moral principle, unexpectedly takes a moral stand that confuses and scares his colleagues and jeopardizes the almighty deal – the businessman’s too-often morally empty holy grail.

Thus too is illustrated the collateral, usually ignored, personal damage caused to innocent individuals run over by the Parade of Power represented by the new, unholy, virtual alliance between the Crowns of Canada and Indian bands-companies (usually small) and individuals cast aside and left in the ditch as the Parade moves on to further instances of brute and reckless power-wielding and economic sabotage.

“Regard for power means disregard for those without power.”  5

Mr. Stretch, the brave, principled but financially broken man, wrongly betrayed and taken down by political mice, who died in March of 2017 confused, incredulous, heartbroken and embittered, (I visited him in his last days),  by what his government did to him and his company, embodies the now tens of thousands of individual,  disregarded human victims of the incredible new powers given to Indian bands- powers unchecked by any sovereign Crown power- powers being so selfishly, recklessly and irresponsibly wielded.

Double postscript: In a sort of backhanded endorsement of what Ontario did, and illustrating well that this rootless, cultural/political/economic deathwish madness on the part of our elites is now the new normal, the Yukon Court of Appeal in January of 2013, in the Ross River Dena Council case,6 ruled that the mere recording of a mining claim triggered the Yukon Crown’s duty to consult nearby Indian bands.

Said the judge writing for the court:

I fully understand that the open entry mining system…has considerable value in maintaining a viable mining industry and encouraging prospecting. I also acknowledge that there is a long tradition of acquiring mining claims by staking, and that the system is important both historically and economically to Yukon. It must however be modified in order for the Crown to act in accordance with its constitutional duties.

Staking mining claims, as we all know from history and popular culture, is time and privacy sensitive. It has occasionally involved an actual race to the Mining Recorder’s office between rival stakers.

There’s no point racing to the Yukon Mining Recorder’s office now. They won’t record a staker’s claim unless there’s also submitted a danegeld-obtained letter of backing from every nearby Indian band. (Perhaps these bands will auction off their backing letters to the highest-bidding would-be staker.) Those mining investment dollars avoiding Ontario certainly won’t be heading to the Yukon. And if this Yukon decision is not appealed and overturned – and if it comes to be regarded as basically “good law” across the country (a not unlikely prospect given the way things are going) – and if the federal government and the provinces, now seeing the ruination of the (formerly)” free entry” mining system  being caused by the courts and senior politicians and bureaucrats like those in Ontario – the ruination of a 150 year old mining system that contributed greatly to making Canada the wealthy  and progressive country it is today –  if they don’t finally stand up and shout… “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it any more!”…and then do something about it! – then watch new mining investment dollars – resource investment dollars generally – as is already happening– choose to go somewhere else other than Canada


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  1. Tony Judt. Thinking the Twentieth Century. Penguin Books, 2012.
  2. Partner, Regulatory, Environmental, Aboriginal and Land, Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt, Toronto- stated as part of his address, Consultation Best Practices and Project Proponents, given at the St. Andrews conference November 30, 2016 (Noted in The Haida Nation Case, above
  3. Ron Grench. “Court Halts Drilling.” The Sudbury Star, 6 January 2012.
  4. Wahgoshig First Nation v Solid Gold Resources Corp. and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, 2012 ONSC 388.
  5. Spoken by Robert Caro, author of the masterful (unfinished) biography of Lyndon Johnson, in The Art of Biography, No. 5, The Paris Review, Spring, 2016
  6. 2013 YKCA 7