Nor’Wester Wind Farm Adjournment Analysis

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Wyatt Bannon and Chief Georjann Morriseau outside the Thunder Bay Court House.
Wyatt Bannon and Chief Georjann Morriseau outside the Thunder Bay Court House.

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THUNDER BAY – The next steps on the Nor’Westers are continuing as efforts to fight against a proposed wind farm continue. On Friday in Thunder Bay, Justice Fitzpatrick set an adjournment to a hearing until June 23rd 2014.

That adjournment was sought by Fort William First Nation after moves by the Ontario Government announced by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Bill Mauro at a Candidate’s Debate organized in the Thunder Bay Atikokan riding on Monday June 2nd.

Mauro stated that the Ministry of the Environment would not rule on the application by Horizon Wind until the concerns that no proper consultation with Fort William First Nation were dealt with.

Minister of the Environment Jim Bradley has taken it a step further in a letter to Minister Bill Mauro that states that no Renewable Energy Application (REA) would be approved until the judicial review has been made by the courts.

These moves according to sources telling NNL were the result of letters and meetings between FWFN and the Ontario government. The Ministry of the Environment first had these issues raised with them by Fort William First Nation in November 2013.

During the hearing in Thunder Bay on Friday, Justice Fitzpatrick was ready to deal with the issue, and five hours were set aside in the courtroom. However the adjournment had been agreed to by both the Crown and the Fort William First Nation. The First Nation felt that the moves made by the Ontario Government coming before the election justified a short delay.

The efforts toward consultation have repeated had Fort William First Nation stating that no real consultation had been done.

FWFN Chief Georjann Morriseau has raised those issues repeatedly.

Wyatt Bannon and Chief Georjann Morriseau outside the Thunder Bay Court House.
Wyatt Bannon and Chief Georjann Morriseau outside the Thunder Bay Court House.

Chief Morriseau has stated that the Robinson Superior Treaty is “Not a historical document, but a living document.

The Fort William First Nation believes that primarily, the issue is preserving the rights of First Nations under Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution.