Constance Lake First Nation v. Zenyatta Ventures Ltd – A Step Forward

Aboriginal Law | Consultation and Accommodation | Resources and Environment

On Friday morning, Constance Lake First Nation’s motion seeking an interim injunction against Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. was heard by the Honourable Justice Lederman of the Ontario Superior Court.

On the whole, Constance Lake was successful.  Zenyatta has been prohibited from drilling until May 11 on any sites other than the ones where they are already in operation.

With respect to one discrete site where Zenyatta sought to drill next, the company has been specifically ordered to delay drilling until May 9.  In the interim, the parties have been ordered back to the negotiation table.

If the parties are unable to reach agreement before May 9, they will return to Court on May 11 to set down timelines for the hearing of a full interlocutory injunction motion.

This is a good step forward for Constance Lake First Nation, affirming that active steps must be taken to engage in meaningful consultation and adequate accommodation prior to undertaking mineral exploration activities in the traditional territories of First Nations in Ontario.

For more information, see the news articles (Order Halts Drilling, The Daily Press, and Ontario Superior Court Rules for Constance Lake First Nation, netnewsledger.com), and CLFN’s press release.

I’m working on this file under OKT partner Kate Kempton, and alongside associate Judith Rae and articling student Aaron Mills.

By Oliver MacLaren