Canadian Manufacturing

Quebec Innu win latest round of $900M court battle against Iron Ore, Labrador

Dispute centres on alleged land rights violations in Quebec as well as Newfoundland and Labrador


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MONTREAL—Innu groups have won the latest court battle in their land-claims fight against Iron Ore Co. of Canada, a railway company and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Innu are seeking $900 million in all against Iron Ore, the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway Co. Inc., and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The parties are involved in various mining and infrastructure projects on land in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador claimed by the First Nations group.

The three entities were hoping to remove the portion of Iron Ore’s operations in Labrador from the Innu’s lawsuit.

But Quebec Superior Court Justice Thomas M. Davis ruled Oct. 19 that laws governing ancestral rights apply everywhere in Canada.

An Innu leader welcomed the decision.

“Rio Tinto and its IOC subsidiary are once again using every means to slow down the legal process with the aim of postponing the actual hearing on the merits of the case,” Mike McKenzie, chief of Uashat mak Mani-utenam, said in a statement.

“This is our fourth victory in this case and we’re especially pleased that a judgment has finally demonstrated that our rights to our traditional territory, our Nitassinan, do not end at Canadian-imposed borders.”


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