Municipal association accepts UCCMM offer to discuss land claim details

MINDEMOYA—The Manitouin Municipal Association (MMA) has voted to accept an offer made by the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnissing (UCCMM) to brief Island municipalities on the details of land claim negotiations between the UCCMM and the province.

“We received a response from the province today regarding the proposed meeting,” said MMA Chair Ken Noland. “They have indicated that they have no concerns.” In fact, the province encouraged the MMA to meet with the UCCMM to discuss items of mutual concern, he said.

Assiginack Reeve Paul Moffat inquired if a motion was required to invite the UCCMM to discuss that organization’s land claim issues.

“We were going to deal with it in January,” noted Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin, who suggested that meeting together as a group was far better than having several individual meetings. Mayor MacNevin noted that the recent court decision on land claims that took place in British Columbia “is a bit confusing. I would like to know what the UCCMM think that decision on the duty to consult entails.”

Mayor MacNevin went on to say that the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) had recently sent a discussion paper outlining their interpretation. “But I think there may be different concepts of what forms that consultation entails,” he added.

The mayor explained that he believed the duty to consult may take different forms and processes depending on the level of importance the considered action might be. “There may be a different level if it is a proposed sidewalk than if the proposed development is a subdivision on the waterfront or where mineral rights might be in play,” he suggested. “They may not be quite as onerous as I had originally thought when I first heard about it at a workshop. If it is what I heard in the workshop, I think I would be comfortable with it. I look forward to hearing what they think.”

The motion to invite the UCCMM to the next meeting of the MMA was passed without opposition.