AAFN spokesperson sentenced to prison over Sharbot Lake uranium mining blockage

This is a Press Release about the recent prison sentence given an Ardoch Algonquin First Nation protester involved in the dispute with Frontenac Ventures over uranium mining at Sharbot Lake just north of Kingston:


BOB LOVELACE TO SERVE SIX MONTHS IN JAIL: Press release: Christian Peacemaker Teams Canada

Where Is The Justice?
Kingston, Ontario
February 15, 2008

Kingston Regional Police took Bob Lovelace away from the courthouse in handcuffs this morning to serve a six month sentence on a contempt of court charge handed down by Justice Douglas Cunningham. Lovelace, age fifty-nine, is an ex-chief and spokesperson for the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN). He is also father to seven children and an instructor at Queen’s University and Sir Sandford Fleming Community College. Justice Cunningham imposed a fine of $25,000 on Lovelace and $10,000 on his community.

Lovelace said “I am in a dilemma. I want to obey Canadian law but Algonquin law instructs me that I must preserve Creation. I must follow Algonquin law.” Judge Cunningham in his sentencing said, “There can only be one law – the law of Canada as expressed in this court.”

Co-chief Paula Sherman and Honorary Chief Harold Perry agreed to abide by the terms of an injunction which forbids them from blocking Frontenac Ventures Ltd from drilling test holes on the site or encouraging others to do so. In this way they avoided Bob Lovelace’s fate. “I want to be with Bob” said Harold “but my community does not want me to do this”. Perry is age seventy-eight and has heart problems while Paula Sherman is a single parent.

Earlier in the hearing Chief Doreen Davis and Earl Badour of the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation agreed to abide by the terms of the injunction of September 27, 2007. They must reappear in court on March 18, 2008.

Chris Reid, lawyer for AAFN, noted that there were other options available to the involved parties which would have prevented this outcome. The Province of Ontario could have removed the claimed land from the lands available to be staked and explored. Further, he observed “The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that all provinces have a duty to consult with First Nations who have even a weak claim on land before they permit any development. Ontario has not consulted with any Algonquin band about this claim”.

Ardoch Algonquin First Nation is a federally-unrecognized community and so does not receive funding from any government. They urgently need support for costs related to these trials. They are asking supporters to please send donations, made out to: “Chris Reid, in trust for the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation” at the address below:

Christopher M. Reid
Barrister & Solicitor
154 Monarch Park Ave.
Toronto, ON M4J 4R6
Tel: (416) 466-9928
Fax: (416) 466-1852

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