Legal Action Challenges Uranium Industry Agreement

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Saskatchewan residents file statement of claim against Cameco, Areva, three levels of government

by Sandra Cuffe

PRINCE ALBERT—The Northern Village of Pinehouse and uranium industry giants Cameco and Areva celebrated their December 2012 collaboration agreement, but Pinehouse residents and supporters from throughout Saskatchewan and beyond are taking legal action to have it annulled in court.

On June 24, a statement of claim was filed in provincial court in Prince Albert on behalf of 42 plaintiffs who are challenging the legality of the agreement and the lack of consultation in Pinehouse, a primarily Métis community located 500 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

Along with collaboration agreement signatories Cameco, Areva, the Northern Village of Pinehouse and Kineepik Métis Local #9, Pinehouse mayor Mike Natomagan, Kineepik official Vince Natomagan and the governments of Saskatchewan and Canada are named as defendants. The statement of claim also addresses intimidation by local leaders in Pinehouse and the devastating impacts of the uranium industry in northern Saskatchewan.

“They talk about prosperity and money coming into town, but they have a fixed view of what they would like to see and it seems to exclude everybody else,” said Dale Smith, a Pinehouse resident and plaintiff in the case.

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