OTTAWA – The Quebec government announced that it will not grant Copper One deforestation permits for mining exploration in Mitchiknabikok Inik unceded traditional territory. Ecojustice law clinic director, Joshua Ginsberg responds:
“We are very pleased that the Quebec government has outright rejected deforestation permits to Copper One. This is an important step towards respecting the constitutional rights of our clients, the Mitchikanibikok Inik First Nation
“The government’s decision signals that it takes its responsibilities to uphold the Mitchikanibikok Inik people’s right to consultation and accommodation seriously and will not let Copper One force through regulatory approvals that threaten their traditional territory.
“While we are declaring this a victory today, we know that Copper One can challenge the decision. We are currently discussing with our clients the best way to ensure that the permit refusal is upheld and their traditional territory is protected from future mining activity.”
Ecojustice lawyers, with help from lawyers from the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE), helped the Mitchikanibikok Inik successfully apply as intervenors in Copper One’s proceeding against the Quebec government. We anticipate that Copper One will attempt to challenge the Quebec government’s decision to refuse its permit.