Students make their voices heard at Toronto Mining Act Consultation

    TORONTO, Sept. 9 /CNW/ - Toronto students were in attendance at last
night's last Mining Act consultation. As feedback from the Timmins, Thunder
Bay and Kingston consultations has poured in, students from the Canadian
Federation of Students-Ontario, in collaboration with the Sierra Youth
Coalition, brought the voices of their memberships to the Ministry of Northern
Development and Mines.
    Students are concerned that the Mining Act is not being reformed in a
manner that prioritizes justice for First Nations communities and the
environment, as well as a just transition to a more sustainable economy in
Northern Ontario. They brought the following recommendations to the Ministry:

    -   Recognise and clearly establish the ability and right of First
        Nations and municipal governments to withdraw lands from staking for
        mineral claims;
    -   Require the free, prior, and informed consent of First Nations, as
        well as consultation with municipalities and surface rights holders
        (landowners), before mineral exploration at any level and development
        of any sort occurs;
    -   Establish a permitting system for mineral exploration, advanced
        exploration, and mine development that will allow for meaningful
        public consultation and the setting of enforceable conditions on the
        permitted activities.

    The rushed timeline for reform is also of concern to students. They add
their voices to the call for a more realistic timeline that will give
sufficient space for communities to gather and analyze information, and to
engage in meaningful internal decision-making processes.
    This action continues the work of students in solidarity with communities
who have been negatively impacted by the antiquated Mining Act.

    The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is comprised of over 300,000
students across Canada.

    The Sierra Youth Coalition is a national organization run by and for
youth with the mission of empowering youth to create a more just and
sustainable society.

For further information:

For further information: Shelley Melanson, Ontario Chair, Canadian
Federation of Students: (416) 925-3825 or (416) 301-5747 (cell); Monique
Woolnough, Sierra Youth Coalition Organiser, (647) 637-7063 (cell)

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