The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines could approve a proposed drilling project in north eastern Ontario in the Boreal Forest at anytime. Moose Cree has rejected the project from the outset and calls on Ontario to withdraw the permit. Wildlands League stands with Moose Cree.
Chief Patricia Faries wrote about it in a recent letter to the Ontario Premier in 2017,
The North French River is one of the last sources of clean water for our people. Its protection and preservation are of paramount importance that’s why we deemed it permanently protected in 2002 and reaffirmed it in 2015. The South Bluff Creek is highly used by our members and has camps all along it. You can still drink the water from the creek and the sensitive wetland area supports brook trout, moose, black bear and boreal caribou. Families that occupy the area are united in their opposition to this project.
Google Earth image of site where Niobay plans to drill. One can still see the lingering effects of historic cut lines, trails and clearings crisscrossing the site. Ontario says there are "no signs of negative ongoing environmental effects" from the significant drilling in late 1960s. Above image shows that after almost 50 years the land has not recovered.
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The Chief further clarified, “It is not a matter of our community needing more time to better understand the economics of the project. Moose Cree will not allow any industrial development here ever”.
These lands and waters also matter to Ontario and Canada as one of the last sources of clean drinking water for this part of the province. The area provides critical habitat for threatened boreal caribou, migratory birds and aquatic life. And its sensitive wetlands store a tremendous amount of carbon that need to be maintained in order to help stave off the worst impacts of global climate change.
How you can help
Please speak up and tell the new Ontario government that the drilling permit should be withdrawn and Ontario should work with Moose Cree First Nation to safeguard these Boreal lands and waters in the Moose Cree Homeland permanently.
Your message will be sent to:
Hon. Rod Phillips, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks
Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines/Minister of Indigenous Affairs