Bob Lovelace, an ex-chief and negotiator for Ardoch Algonquin First Nations, is facing six months in prison and was fined $25,000 for participating in an ongoing protest over uranium exploration on Algonquin land, in and around Sharbot Lake, Ontario. He was charged with contempt of court.
The protest was in response to a license the Ontario government granted Frontenac Ventures, giving them permission to proceed with exploratory drilling on land that is part of a 25-year-old land claim. That First Nations communities said that they had not been notified by the government or the mining company about the plans.
Amnesty International released a press release last week expressing their concern with the sentencing of Lovelace and stated that the Ontario government “is ignoring it’s own legal obligations without any accountability.”
Lovelace, the fifty-nine year-old professor at Queen’s University and Sir Sandford Fleming Community College, is serving his six-months at Central East Correctional Facility in Lindsay. AAFN co-Chief and professor at Trent University, Paula Sherman, was also sentenced to six months in prison and fined $15,000. However, the single mother of three has agreed to stop her protest to avoid incarceration.
An additional fine of $10,000 was placed on the AAFN community, even though they are a federally unrecognized community and do not receive government funding.