Validity of La Loche Land Deal Questioned

Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 14:22



The mayor of La Loche says a deal between a local group and an oil company doesn’t represent the community as a whole.


Georgina Jolibois says the Clearwater Development Authority, was not elected and therefore,does not speak for the community.


The deal covers 300 thousand hectares of La Loche traditional land over a period of 20 years in which the company can explore for petroleum, natural gas, coal and minerals.


In return, Access will provide all the necessary resources to make development happen, and involve the local community, and pay an annual fee and royalties from production.


Jolibois says when the issue first arose last October, the village council invited the Clearwater Development Authority to discuss the matter, but that never happened.


The provincial government is also puzzled by word of the deal.


Energy Ministry spokesman Roy Schneider says as far as they know the group doesn’t represent Metis either, nor have they approached the ministry.


Spokesmen for the Clearwater Development Authority could not be reached for comment.