Evidence of meeting #27 for Natural Resources in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was going.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Wes Hanson  President and Chief Executive Officer, Noront Resources Ltd.
  • Kirk McKinnon  President and Chief Executive Officer, MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.
  • Ian Brodie-Brown  President and Chief Executive Officer, AurCrest Gold Inc.
  • Elijah Moonias  Marten Falls First Nation
  • David Kilgour  Councillor, City of Greater Sudbury

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

I don't want to put words in your mouths, but both of you would say the major bottleneck has been with the provincial government in Ontario.

9:55 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Noront Resources Ltd.

Wes Hanson

To a degree, that's true.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

You can blame the federal government here. It's part of testimony, but would that be a fairly accurate description?

9:55 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.

Kirk McKinnon

I don't think it's really fair to blame the provincial government. I really think it's a marriage between the federal and the provincial governments. The provincial government may execute, but at the same time, there has to be some belief that from the native communities....

Here's what happens. The money comes from the federal government; the natives are short of money, and they come to the provincial government. The provincial government says that it comes from the federal government, so we're the last stop.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

It's a lack of someone taking responsibility.

9:55 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.

Kirk McKinnon

That's it, exactly.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Chief Moonias, let me ask you about your observations. Not everything everywhere has been a failure. There are aboriginal bands in Saskatchewan that have had good experiences with mining corporations and agreements that have worked fairly well. What would you view as a success, and what sort of pattern would you try to imitate to have a success in your area?

You've noted that you don't feel the oil sands production in northern Alberta has been successful, but there are other aboriginal communities across Canada. Is there anyone you look to as a pattern to follow? Is there anyone who you would say has the sorts of goals that you would like to achieve for your community, and that you think could be positive for Marten Falls and the people who reside there?

Have you looked into positive examples, and looked at how to incorporate their successes?

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Leon Benoit

Go ahead, Chief.

9:55 a.m.

Marten Falls First Nation

Chief Elijah Moonias

When I mentioned the oil sands, I was specifically referring to the failure of the berm by the side of the river, which has dumped the poisons—arsenic and mercury—into the river. That's what I was referring to there. The berm failed; that's what I was saying.

I also know that in the Athabasca situation there was a failure to consult in that area. The natives had to go to court to settle the issue. That doesn't change the fact that arsenic and mercury have seeped into the river. Some shortcomings have occurred there. Whether it was the federal EA process and the fast-tracking that took place, I don't know, but that's what I suspect.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

What do you look to as a success?

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Leon Benoit

I'm sorry, Mr. Trost; you're out of time.

Mr. Anderson, go ahead, please.

February 16th, 2012 / 9:55 a.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I want to thank the witnesses for coming forward.

I'd like to follow up on that question, because I think it's important. Do you have anyone that you look to? I asked this question the other day of Mr. Ferris, who I'm glad to see back again today. Where do you go for your examples of success? Do you have any, or are you just beginning to look for those examples?

9:55 a.m.

Marten Falls First Nation

Chief Elijah Moonias

Well, I don't go to Osoyoos, that's for sure.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Okay. Well, where—

9:55 a.m.

Marten Falls First Nation

Chief Elijah Moonias

What happens there, I don't know. That's a weird situation there. If I wanted something for a good example, I definitely would not go to Osoyoos.