OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says it will hear an appeal over jurisdiction in the latest stage of a long-running effort by Innu First Nations to sue mining giant Rio Tinto.
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador launched the appeal after Quebec’s highest court ruled that the Innu of Uashat and of Mani-Utenam and others could sue the company and its Iron Ore Co. of Canada subsidiary through Quebec courts.
The attorney general of Newfoundland and Labrador has argued that Quebec courts are without jurisdiction in the matter because the mining operations are in Labrador.
The Innu launched the lawsuit in 2013, seeking $900 million in compensation because the mine was built without their consent.
They claim the mine, in operation since 1954, has caused environmental damage, displaced members of the community, and prevented them from practising their traditional way of life.
The Innu First Nations of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and Matimekush-Lac John say they’re disappointed the Supreme Court will hear the challenge as it amounts to another delay in their lawsuit.
The Canadian Press