MAC: Mines and Communities

Canadian First Nation and Quebec citizens unite against uranium

Published by MAC on 2010-09-05
Source: Statement (2010-08-17)

An Inuit First Nation is demanding a moratorium against uranium exploration and mining on its territory in Quebec.

Other citizens are being invited to bid for "stakes" in uranium-rich land, in order to "protect the gems of our natural heritage".

Innu of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam call for moratorium on uranium exploration and mining

17 August 2010

Uashat, Nitassinan - Speaking for his nation, Chief Georges-Ernest Grégoire of the Innu of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam is calling on the Government of Québec to declare an immediate moratorium on uranium exploration and mining throughout Québec. The statement is being made in support of the actions being taken by the grassroots organization Sept-Iles Sans Uranium ( at the National Assembly in Québec City this week.

According to Chief Grégoire, "A moratorium is necessary as the long term consequences of these activities on the environment, wildlife, and human health have not been evaluated and are not clearly understood."

The exploitation of uranium for the production of energy should be the subject of a serious debate. For the Innu it is not at all clear that the Québec population wants to go down this path.

The Chief of the Innu of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam noted that several uranium exploration projects are found within their traditional territory and that all of these projects, as with all other authorisations by the Québec Government, require the free prior and informed consent of the Innu.

The Chief also noted that these projects have significant impacts on the Innu traditional rights to use, occupy and control their territory. "We live in our territory, we hunt and we fish there. What will come of our heritage and traditions if Québec promotes this kind of development? It will be impossible for us to live from the fish and game of Nitassinan as they will be contaminated if not completely lost forever. It's inconceivable and totally unacceptable to the Innu," declared Chief Grégoire.

Kateri C. Jourdain
Director of Communications, ITUM

Take a Stake in Our Lands campaign launched.

Quebeckers are invited to lay "claim" to famous cites around Quebec

Press release by the Coalition Quebec Meilleure Mine

17 August 2010

Quebec - After having staked their claim on parliament yesterday, the Coalition Quebec Meilleure Mine, and the grassroots organization Sept-Iles Sans Uranium are now inviting the Quebec population to get their own mining rights to other famous locations around Quebec. "The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Lac Saint-Jean, Old Quebec City, the magnificent Iles-Madelaine, the Sept-Iles City Hospital and the riding office of Premiere Jean Charest are some of the locations that we are putting on the auction block for staking.

It's the first activity in our campaign "Take a Stake In Our Lands" that we are launching to raise awareness about the problems with the current mining regime in Quebec" explains Marc Fafard of Sept-Iles Sans Uranium.

Running through the end of the parliamentary commission on mines, the campaign is encouraging individuals and organizations to bid on acquiring the mining rights for the provinces most famous locations. The starting price is $52, the cost for getting a claim from the Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife. Once a claim is obtained the claim gives the exclusive right to the mineral resources found there but the intent is to protect these sites, not develop them.

Individuals who want to bid can write to, stating their location of choice, their bid and their contact information. A charitable receipt will be made available for any amounts received that are over $52. Donations to the campaign without bidding on the mining rights for a given location will also be gratefully accepted.

Christian Simard of Nature Quebec noted that "other campaign activities are planned over the coming year and will be focused on protecting the gems of our natural heritage".

Through this campaign the participating organizations hope to point out the absurdity of the current online claim staking process and free entry mining regime that allow the establishment of exclusive rights to land and resources by a simple click of the mouse.

For more information :
• Mylène Bergeron, Nature Québec, 418.931.1131
• Ugo Lapointe, coalition Pour que le Québec ait meilleure mine! 514.708.0134
• Olivier Noël, Sept-Îles Sans Uranium, 418.965.7282
• Online et

Unsatisfied with Bill 79, the Quebec mining law reform bill, the Coalition Quebec Meilleure Mine has laid claim to the mining rights under the Quebec Parliament

Press Release

16 August 2010

Québec - On the eve of a new session of consultations by the parliamentary commission on mining, the Coalition Quebec Meilleure Mine has taken the bold step of claiming the mining rights of the Quebec Parliament. "We did this to make it clear that the current proposal for mining reform is not acceptable. The mining regime is so flawed that it permits us to stake the mining rights to the Parliament of Quebec! It makes no sense. We need fundamental changes to realign the existing outdated system with the current values of Quebec society" commented Ugo Lapointe, spokesperson for the Coalition.

On July 8th, two adjacent claims were made by a friend of the Coalition using the Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife's (MRNF) online claim system. According to the methods prescribed by the current law, all you need to stake a claim is to fill out a simple online form and pay $52 per claim. The Coalition is now waiting the confirmation of the claim from the MRNF, which can take a few weeks. If the claims are recognized it would mean the claim holder would hold the exclusive right to explore and develop the minerals found under the Parliament. The claims also cover a portion of the Plains of Abraham.

The MRNF's public registry indicates that this is not the first claim to have been made here. Between May 2008 and May 2010 another prospector had laid claim to Parliament but then abandoned the claim. It is impossible to know whether the prospector did any work on their claim during this period.

"It is inconceivable that the mining regime actually permits someone to get the mining rights under one of the jewels of Quebec's heritage like the Parliament and the historic Plains of Abraham. It's an example of the aberrations in the current mining laws that we want to see changed. We need a new law that does a much better job to protect citizens and their environment. We need a law that doesn't put mining rights above all others, a law that also gives consideration to future generations. In short we need a law with some teeth that really serves the public interest" argues Christian Simard of Nature Quebec.

The Coalition Quebec Meilleure Mine will present its recommendations for a new mining law on Thursday August 19 as part of the public consultations on Bill 79. Many member organizations of the coalition will also be making submissions throughout the week.

Educational activities and demonstrations are planned for August 16 and 19 in front of the Parliament. The problems associated with uranium mining and the nuclear industry will be a focus of the activities being held during the week.

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