To the Hon. Dalton McGuinty,
We are citizens of Ontario and Canada and supporters of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation.
On January 11, 2008, The Ardoch Algonquin First Nation sent you a letter outlining again their position and their sound reasons for that position. To date, they have had no response from you.
We are petitioning you to respond immediately and favourably to the position presented by the Ardoch Algonquin. Some important points from that letter are presented below:
\"In the final report on the Ipperwash Inquiry, Commissioner Linden noted, \"the single biggest source of frustration, distrust, and ill-feeling among aboriginal people in Ontario is our [the Provincial Government\'s failure to deal in a just and expeditious way with breaches of treaty and other legal obligations to First Nations\". As a particular recommendation, Commissioner Linden suggested, \"the Provincial Government should promote respect and understanding for the duty to consult within relevant provincial authorities\" which would include the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines...
\"...Unfortunately, we find ourselves embroiled in a situation Commissioner Linden recommended should be avoided. Ontario has granted mining claims in territory subject to a land claim currently under negotiation. Ontario did not consult with us as it is obliged to do under Canadian law before authorizing resource development in territory held under Aboriginal title. Ontario\'s failure to take appropriate and timely action has led to the current unfortunate circumstances and we look to the Government of Ontario to take swift action to resolve this matter outside of the courts.
\"We wish to resolve this matter peacefully. In this regard, we propose the following in order to move forward:
1. Both sides agree to stand down:
i) Algonquins will suspend their occupation of the disputed area for the duration of this agreement;
ii) Ontario will agree to a moratorium on uranium exploration and mining in the disputed area;
iii) contempt of court proceedings will be withdrawn; and
iv) Ontario will indemnify all peaceful protesters for liability for actions up to time of this agreement.
2. During the moratorium a Joint Panel will investigate issues relating to uranium exploration and mining in the Ottawa valley. The panel will make recommendations to Ontario and AAFNA concerning the future of the moratorium, the reform of Ontario\'s Mining Act in order to prevent similar conflicts in the future, and other related issues.
3. The Joint Panel will be comprised of 5 members: two appointed by AAFN, and two appointed by Ontario, one of whom would be appointed by yourself and the other appointed by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. A Chairperson would be the 5th member of the panel. The Chair would be chosen on the basis of his/her qualifications to address technical, environmental and socio-economic issues, as well as the rights, perspectives and concerns of the Algonquins.
4. Ontario and AAFN will negotiate an interim measures agreement, including land withdrawals and joint decision-making on resource extraction within AAFN\'s territory.
Our proposal to end the conflict between our people and Ontario is supported by the following organizations: Mining Watch Canada, Forest Ethics, the Wildlands League, the Rainforest Action Network, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, as well as several First Nations engaged in similar conflicts resulting from Ontario\'s antiquated and unconstitutional Mining Act.\"
Mr. McGuinty, as citizens of Ontario, we require you and your government to respond immediately and favourably to this proposal to remedy the current situation. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
This petition was created by Catherine Wills in consultation with Christopher Reid, the legal counsel for the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, and the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium. You can find out more about this issue and the Citizens\' Inquiry into the Uranium Cycle at http://www.ccamu.ca/
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Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium http://www.ccamu.ca Ardoch Algonquin First Nation http://www.aafna.ca Citizen\'s Inquiry into the Uranium Cycle http://www.uraniumcitizensinquiry.com/ Shabot Obaadjiwan http://www.shabotisstillhere.com http://www.sharbotlakealgonquinfirstnation.com
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