Ontario NationTalk

DeBeers Victor Diamond Mine Pushing for Massive Garbage Dump in Fragile Wetlands Habitat – Attawapiskat First Nation Fighting Back

ATTAWAPISKAT FIRST NATION, ON, Sept. 28, 2020  – DeBeers Canada (DBC) is seeking Ontario Government approval for a third landfill waste site to be built and filled up at the Victor Mine Site, located in a vulnerable James Bay wetlands area, and in a place of critical importance to Attawapiskat. The Victor Mine is now in the closure phase, where decommissioning and remediation are supposed to leave the landscape in a clean and safe state. The mine operated from 2005 to 2019 and with an annual production rate is 2.7 million tonnes a year, or about 600,000 carats a year in diamond grade.

Much of the diamond mine waste that DBC would deposit into such landfill, is reusable and salvageable. Over half of the proposed landfill waste will be powerline infrastructure which has significant value, together with steel, pipe and wood products that can be re-used or recycled. “DeBeers could and should be transporting that waste through the winter road it has maintained for the last many years, to markets and facilities south of us, where it can be treated and reused,” says Attawapiskat Chief David Nakogee. “We’re talking about 100,000 cubic metres of material that could be reused or recycled. DeBeers unilaterally cancelled the contract for the winter road project because they said they don’t need it. Of course they don’t need it when they have the alternative of turning our lands into their garbage dump instead of building a winter road.”

The manner in which DBC is seeking Ontario approval for the extra landfill is suspect. Without conducting a full audit or examining alternatives to landfilling, DBC has applied for 97,000 cubic metres of landfill volume, which is just shy of the 100,000 cubic metres threshold which would trigger a Comprehensive Environmental Assessment. DBC very recently got approval for a demolition landfill of exactly the same size, and now they are asking Ontario to approve a second demolition landfill bringing the total diamond mine project demolition waste volume to almost 200,000 cubic metres.

“A 200,000 cubic metre demolition landfill could fit about four CN Towers. A 100,000 cubic metre landfill could serve a medium-sized Ontario municipality for 20 years or more. A landfill that big requires a Comprehensive Environmental Assessment,” says environmental consultant to Attawapiskat, Don Richardson. “But if Ontario agrees that DeBeers can split the demolition landfilling into two pieces of about 100,000 cubic metres each, DeBeers can side-step the time and costs involved in planning a big landfill project through a Comprehensive Environmental Assessment. If Ontario lets DeBeers do this, I expect a lot of Ontario municipalities will be looking to see if they can follow the same landfill splitting approach, and things will get pretty interesting for people who live around future landfill projects in southern Ontario.”

This comes on the heels of DBC also seeking approval from Ontario to stop key monitoring of water quality at the mine, through exemptions in its permit to take water. And this new diamond mine garbage problem comes while DBC has stored much of its organic waste on the mine site in over 50 large shipping containers while it tries to get an incinerator functioning to burn this mine garbage.

Attawapiskat is firmly rejecting all of this, and letting the Ontario Government know. Whether Ontario will pay any attention remains to be seen.

It was just announced that a rare 102 carat diamond the size of a small egg was discovered at the Victor Mine and is set to be auctioned off by Sothebys possibly for about $30 million.

“DeBeers has profited a lot from the Victor Diamond Mine and will profit even more,” says Chief Nakogee. “These expensive diamonds come from my Nation’s homeland, in our backyard, and yet we continue to live in horrendous conditions where we can’t even drink the water here from the taps. We keep watching the wealth of our Traditional Territory, from the waters and lands to the wildlife, get industrialized. We keep watching others walk off with the profits of that industrialization, leaving us to bear the burden and the waste. When DeBeers has the money to transport, recycle and re-use materials, and to properly monitor the effects of the mine on the lakes and rivers, they must be required to do so. We will not tolerate excuses when so much is at stake.”

Attawapiskat urges those who care about this environment to research this matter and to contact the Ontario Government to register your concerns about this issue.

For further information:

To contact Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks: Hon. Jeff Yurek, Minister – [email protected]

For further information: Charles Hookimaw, Director, Lands and Resources, Attawapiskat First Nation – 705-997-2375 ex. 137; Don Richardson, environmental consultant to Attawapiskat – 226-820-5086 / Email: [email protected]


Madbin Jina: Caldwell First Nation and Parks Canada unveil a new sign that conveys the warmest of welcomes Français

Symbolic re-naming of day-use area in Point Pelee National Park invites visitors to “sit a while” in Anishinaabemowin

LEAMINGTON, ON, Sept. 28, 2020  – Parks Canada collaborates with and are partners with Indigenous peoples across Canada, in conserving natural and cultural heritage and sharing stories of these treasured places.

It is with this in mind that this past Saturday, September 26, 2020, the Point Pelee National Park day-use area formerly known as “Pioneer” was renamed” Madbin Jina”, as members of Caldwell First Nation, Walpole Island First Nation and Parks Canada staff gathered for a small ceremony to unveil the new road sign and interpretive elements in the park. The new name; “Madbin Jina”, invites visitors to come ‘sit a while’ and invokes a traditional expression for welcoming guests in the Anishinaabe language, Anishinaabemowin.

As spoken by Knowledge-Keeper, Janne I. Peters of Caldwell First Nation:

“In the time of our Ancestors, if someone was new to the area, lost, cold or hungry, the People would invite them into their lodges to ‘sit for a while’.  All who crossed their paths in peace were welcomed and cared for as they got their bearings, were fed and rested, all for a while (ajina).

In the Spirit of our Tradition, Point Pelee National Park continues welcoming visitors from everywhere.

When you read “Madbin Jina” know that the Ancestors are welcoming you to come ‘sit a while’ in peace, and enjoy what Mother Earth has to offer here.”

The “Madbin Jina” renaming signifies a shift and renewal in the approach to presenting the full scope of our shared history at Parks Canada’s administered places to incorporate more inclusive and representative histories and cultures of Indigenous peoples. The idea of renaming this day-use area was brought forward by the park’s First Nations Advisory Circle, which is composed of members of Caldwell and Walpole Island First Nations. It is one of a number of collaborative initiatives that Point Pelee National Park is currently working on with both First Nations.

This renaming is part of a variety of projects to advance reconciliation, and to rebuild and strengthen the connection to the traditional culture and history of the park. These projects will not only focus on the implementation of First Nation stories throughout Point Pelee, but will also include support for oral history gathering, historical and archaeological research, language revitalization initiatives, youth engagement, community training and skills development.

The collaborative projects will support Caldwell First Nation in crafting their own vision and telling their own stories to Canadians, enriching the experience of all visitors to Point Pelee National Park.


“The Government of Canada is deeply committed to creating a system of national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas that tell the stories of who we are, and recognize and honour the history, culture, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. This collaboration between Caldwell First Nation and Parks Canada is an important step towards reconciliation, as we seek to strengthen and renew relationships with Indigenous partners, based on a recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“Since time immemorial, Caldwell First Nation has been welcoming people into our stories, lands, and traditions. “Madbin Jina” shares one part of that collective history. Sharing these stories is part of a series of projects that build connections and strengthen reconciliation between Point Pelee National Park and Caldwell First Nation. We look forward to the continued relationship between Caldwell First Nation and Point Pelee National Park as we invite you to “Madbin Jina”, which means to ‘sit a while’.”

-Council of Caldwell First Nation

Quick Facts

  • Point Pelee National Park has a Memorandum of Cooperation with Caldwell First Nation and Walpole Island First Nation, both of which have traditional ties to the lands and waters within the Park.
  • The lands of Point Pelee National Park are located on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, comprised of the Ojibwa, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi. Specifically, this is the home of Caldwell First Nation, and part of the house of Walpole Island First Nation.
  • Parks Canada has recently signed a contribution agreement to provide funds to support the Caldwell First Nation in the development of interpretive content, language revitalization programs, youth engagement, and training.
  • Caldwell First Nation and Walpole Island First Nation are regularly involved in the planning and implementation of restoration and conservation projects as well as archaeological work, and have opportunities to share and incorporate traditional knowledge, ceremonies and blessings in Point Pelee National Park.
  • Point Pelee National Park is open daily from 7:00 am to sunset. Camping reservations for 2020 are now open for Point Pelee’s 24 oTENTik sites, and can be made by visiting Parks Canada’s Reservation website at www.reservation.pc.gc.ca or by calling 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783).
  • Visiting Point Pelee National Park will be different than it has been in the past. Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the Point Pelee National Park website at www.pc.gc.ca/pelee before they travel for updates on what is open and what is closed, as well as information about safety.

Associated Links

Point Pelee National Park 
Parks Canada 
Parks Canada Reservation Service 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Parks Canada Places

For further information: Sarah Simpson, Public Relations and Communications Officer, Southwestern Ontario Field Unit, 289-776-8489, [email protected]; Moira Kelly, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-271-6218, [email protected]; Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency, 855-862-1812, pc.med[email protected]


Sustainable Development Strategy for the Office of the Auditor General of Canada—2020–2023

Section 1: Introduction to the Office of the Auditor General of Canada’s Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2019 to 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. The Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) adheres to the principles of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and has drafted this Sustainable Development Strategy for the OAG. Since 1997, the OAG has voluntarily prepared and issued sustainable development strategies. Its 2020–2023 strategy continues this practice.

Section 2: Sustainable Development Context in the Office of the Auditor General of Canada

The OAG contributes to sustainable development primarily through its direct audit engagements (performance audits and special examinations) and financial audits of federal and territorial departments, agencies, and Crown corporations. The OAG’s audits and reviews assist Parliament and territorial legislative assemblies in their oversight of government spending and operations.

On behalf of the Auditor General of Canada, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development is responsible for auditing the federal government’s management of environmental and sustainable development issues, reviewing the implementation of federal departments’ sustainable development strategies, and overseeing the environmental petitions process. Among other things, the Commissioner’s audits and reviews examine whether the government takes a coordinated, government-wide approach to managing sustainable development and takes sustainable development issues into account when planning and delivering programs and services.

Section 3: Contributions to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Its 17 Sustainable Development Goals

The OAG is committed to aligning its audit work with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the underlying 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Appendix A). It does this by supporting the 4 approaches to the agenda, as defined by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). Canada is a member of INTOSAI, which is an umbrella organization for national government audit offices. The 4 approaches were set out in the INTOSAI link to a portable document format (PDF) fileStrategic Plan 2017–2022 and are reflected in the INTOSAI link to a portable document format (PDF) fileAbu Dhabi Declaration of 2016.

In summary, the 4 approaches that INTOSAI has established for its members are as follows:

  1. Assess the preparedness of national governments to implement the SDGs.
  2. Undertake performance audits of key government programs that contribute to specific SDGs.
  3. Contribute to the implementation of SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
  4. Act as models of transparency and accountability in members’ own operations.

The Auditor General of Canada, deputy auditors general, assistant auditors general, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, and engagement leaders are responsible for supporting INTOSAI’s 4 approaches.

Highlights since the release of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Office of the Auditor General of Canada—2017–2020

  • In 2018, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development presented for tabling in Parliament an audit report on the Government of Canada’s preparedness to implement the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The Auditor General and the Commissioner presented for tabling in Parliament performance audits that considered progress on issues and targets related to the SDGs, such as Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3), Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12), and Life Below Water (SDG 14).
  • The Commissioner participated in the United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017, 2018, and 2019 and, on behalf of INTOSAI, presented results of SDG implementation audits at the 2019 forum.
  • The Commissioner played an active role in the INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing. The Working Group provides research, guidance, and training to support the auditing of environment and sustainable development matters around the world.
  • The OAG updated its guidance material, templates, and methodology to help auditors consider the SDGs in their direct engagement work.
  • Each year, the OAG conducted about 90 financial audits that supported federal and territorial governments, Crown corporations, and other federal and territorial organizations in their efforts to maintain sound financial management systems.
  • The OAG underwent a quality assurance review conducted by external peer organizations, in accordance with the INTOSAI approach on transparency and accountability (approach 4).

3.1 Commitments

The following commitments are planned for the 2020–2023 period. They support the OAG’s contribution to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and are consistent with INTOSAI’s 4 approaches. For details on these commitments, including desired results and performance indicators, see Appendix B.

3.1.1 In 2021, present for tabling in Parliament an audit that will examine the federal government’s progress toward the overall implementation of the SDGs.

3.1.2 Ensure that all direct engagements (performance audits and special examinations) contribute to progress toward the SDGs and related targets, and that the contribution of direct engagements is discussed in final performance audit and special examination reports.

3.1.3 Ensure that the contribution of financial audits to progress toward SDG 16 and target 16.6 (Develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels) is discussed in the OAG’s commentaries on financial audits.

The contribution of special examinations to the SDGs and related targets would also be discussed in these commentaries.

3.1.4 By December 2021, use SDG logos to help illustrate the contribution of financial audits (financial audit commentaries) and direct engagements (performance audits and special examinations) to progress toward the SDGs and related targets.

3.1.5 By December 2021, enhance guidance material for further prioritizing the SDGs and incorporating related targets into strategic audit planning and individual direct engagements. This would include enhanced identification and assessment of sustainable development risks and their integration into performance audit and special examination work.

3.1.6 Provide ongoing support to INTOSAI efforts to audit and report on progress toward the SDGs.

3.1.7 On an ongoing basis, work with provincial audit offices in Canada to encourage audit work related to the SDGs.

3.1.8 Through leadership at the Working Group on Environmental Auditing and other INTOSAI committees, continue to contribute to INTOSAI’s ongoing efforts to develop guidance and methodologies for auditing and reporting on progress toward the SDGs and related targets.

Section 4: Contributions to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy’s Goal of Greening Government

As part of its commitment to implementing sustainable development principles, the OAG will contribute to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy’s goal of greening government along with the Government of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy. The OAG will build on existing efforts that have been advanced by its employees, notably through the Sustainable Development Champion and the OAG Green Team, to incorporate sustainable development measures into its operations and to help employees live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. In addition, the Green Team will explore options and opportunities to help the OAG incorporate green practices in its operations, as well as educate and engage employees in contributing to sustainable development and the SDGs.

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada’s Green Team

The OAG’s Green Team, together with the OAG’s Sustainable Development Champion, provides leadership on environmental and sustainable development matters within the OAG. The Green Team’s goal is to help minimize the environmental impact of both employee lifestyle choices and the OAG’s operations.

Consisting of a group of volunteer employees, the Green Team raises awareness about sustainability issues, such as waste reduction and waste management, energy conservation, and active transportation. Green Team members come from various sectors of the OAG’s Ottawa and regional offices.

The Green Team has spearheaded the following initiatives:

  • holding OAG-wide events to raise awareness during Waste Reduction Week in Canada
  • sharing information and resources (including compostable dishes) to promote minimal waste at OAG functions
  • expanding waste diversion efforts using the TerraCycle© system for plastic wrapper recycling boxes in OAG kitchens
  • producing EnviroTips, which offer suggestions to OAG staff on how to incorporate sustainable practices at work and at home
  • organizing OAG participation in the annual Bike to Work Month
  • working with building management and co-tenants to improve sustainability practices in the OAG’s Ottawa office

4.1 Greening government commitments

The OAG will engage in the following activities during the 2020–2023 period to advance various aspects of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy’s goal of greening government and the Government of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy. These commitments are intended to help the OAG reduce its ecological footprint and better withstand the impact of climate change. For more details on these commitments, see Appendix B.

4.1.1 By December 2022, review the OAG’s practices against the federal Policy on Green Procurement, with the aim of identifying additional measures that can be taken to further reduce the OAG’s ecological footprint.

4.1.2 By March 2021, determine the feasibility of conducting a combination waste audit / sustainability assessment of OAG operations, to be completed by December 2022.

4.1.3 By December 2022, complete an assessment of remote working practices and their impact on the OAG’s ecological footprint, space utilization, and other operational and employee considerations.

4.1.4 By December 2021, review options for incorporating carbon offsets into OAG business travel.

4.1.5 As of September 2020, adopt low-carbon mobility solutions when purchasing or leasing executive vehicles.

4.1.6 Build on existing efforts to minimize waste at OAG events (including reducing and, if possible, ultimately eliminating the use of non-compostable plates and cutlery), using the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat green meetings guide and OAG-specific material.

4.1.7 By December 2021, undertake a risk assessment on how climate change could affect assets, services, and operations in all OAG offices across Canada.

4.1.8 By December 2022, begin implementing measures to reduce climate change risks to assets, services, and operations.

While the focus is on internal procedures, OAG representatives in the Ottawa office also collaborate on greening efforts with building management and other co-tenants of the C.D. Howe Building, which is 1 of 6 federal facilities officially announced in early 2020 as Public Services and Procurement Canada innovation hubs for sustainable projects.

4.2 Knowledge and awareness commitments

In addition to the current awareness-raising initiatives, such as the annual Bike to Work Month and producing EnviroTips, the OAG will implement other activities to educate and engage employees on sustainable development, for both their professional and personal lives. For more details on these commitments, see Appendix B.

4.2.1 By March 2021, review the OAG’s existing internal Fundamentals of Environment and Sustainable Development training course to identify other training options to be developed by 2023. These will help increase staff members’ knowledge of environment and sustainable development issues, and ways to incorporate these issues into their work.

4.2.2 By June 2021, begin implementing new awareness-raising events for employees on environment and sustainable development issues, including the SDGs.

4.2.3 Beginning in October 2020, explore the feasibility of organizing volunteer community service activities based on specific SDGs and related targets as a means of educating and engaging employees. If feasible, begin implementing activities by fall 2021 to coincide with the annual Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign.

4.2.4 On an ongoing basis, identify opportunities for contributing to the activities of accounting standards–setting bodies, such as those led by the Public Sector Accounting Board, related to the environment and sustainable development, including the SDGs.

Results of actions related to these activities would, as appropriate, be referenced on the OAG’s Sustainable Development hub.

Section 5: Monitoring and Reporting

The OAG will provide details in its yearly Departmental Plan on specific activities and commitments and will report on progress over the next 3 years through its Departmental Results Report. The COVID-19 pandemic may affect commitments and related timelines in this Sustainable Development Strategy due to the impact on OAG operations and priorities. Any changes to timelines and commitments will be reflected in the OAG’s Departmental Plan or Departmental Results Report, both of which are produced annually.

In support of the INTOSAI approach on transparency and accountability (approach 4), the Sustainable Development Champion will provide annual updates on the Sustainable Development Strategy and will seek feedback on implementing appropriate measures from the OAG’s Executive Committee, External Audit Committee, the Panel of Senior Advisors, the Advisors on Indigenous Issues, and the Independent Accounting and Financial Auditing Advisory Committee. A review of the strategy’s implementation will also be undertaken before preparing the next strategy.

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Historian says Macdonald statue must go – Belleville Intelligencer

September 28, 2020

A national historian says the Holding Court statue of Sir John A. Macdonald should not have a place in downtown Picton.

Dr. Sean Carleton, an assistant professor in the history department at the University of Manitoba, appeared before the Macdonald working group via Zoom Friday afternoon and told members allowing the statue to remain in its prominent position was tantamount to celebrating the transgressions of the country’s first prime minister.

Holding Court was a gift to the municipality from the Macdonald Project. The life-sized statue was done by renowned Canadian artist Ruth Abernethy and is a depiction of Macdonald’s first case in the Picton Courthouse in October 1834. It was presented to the municipality during a grand Canada Day celebration in Picton in 2015 to mark the bicentenary of the birth of the country’s first prime minister.

Read More: https://www.intelligencer.ca/news/local-news/historian-says-macdonald-statue-must-go

Ontario Supporting the Province’s Vibrant Film and TV Sector

September 28, 2020

Targeted programs and services will help promote made-in-Canada entertainment and creative content globally

TORONTO ― The Ontario government is investing nearly $1.3 million through Ontario Creates grants, providing 99 organizations with funding to help bring Canadian film, TV and digital content to audiences around the world.

The announcement was made today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, who was joined by Aaron Campbell, Board Chair of Ontario Creates, and Christina Jennings, Chairman and CEO of Shaftesbury, at 401 Richmond in Toronto. This arts-and-culture hub is home to imagineNATIVE and Reel Asian – Ontario Creates grant recipients who are using their support to access new global markets and showcase the work of Indigenous and East, South and Southeast Asian filmmakers and artists in Canada to new audiences.

Ontario Creates is an agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries that provides industry support through several investment programs, including:

  • 67 grant recipients were approved through the Film and TV Export Fund, supporting export development activities such as market event attendance and targeted sales trips that will encourage company growth and success.
  • 20 recipients through the Industry Development Program, supporting activities that help businesses in the book, magazine, film, television, and interactive digital media sectors expand skills, business capacity, market share, sales, and innovation.
  • 12 recipients through the Interactive Digital Media Fund’s Marketing Support and Global Market Development streams, helping to strengthen and stimulate economic growth in the interactive digital media sector by supporting opportunities for producers of interactive content to create new products, access existing and new markets and grow their business.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Ontario’s heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries were among the first and hardest hit. They will take the longest to recover, but will play an important role in our economic and social recovery,” said Minister MacLeod. “The success of Canada’s own Schitt’s Creek at the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards is proof of the importance and status of Ontario’s film and TV sector. These investments through Ontario Creates will help maintain Ontario’s competitive status as a leader in support for a world-class entertainment sector, and contribute to a spectacular double bottom line – the financial bottom line of the province, as well as the equally important bottom line of our cultural fabric and identity.”

Please visit Ontario Creates for more information on funding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario Creates is an agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries that serves as a catalyst for economic development, investment and collaboration in the province’s creative industries, including the music, book, magazine, film, television and interactive digital media sectors, both domestically and internationally.
  • Ontario’s culture sector contributes over $25 billion to the provincial economy and supports almost 270,000 jobs.
  • Ontario Creates awarded $29.2 million in grant funding to 655 projects last year.


“imagineNATIVE is thrilled to have Ontario Creates’ support this year for the 2020 iN Industry Days and Digital Development Day. Ontario Creates’ continued support of industry development at imagineNATIVE allows us to present meaningful programming for Indigenous artists, expand our network, and create new and exciting opportunities for our community.”

– Naomi Johnson
Executive Director, imagineNATIVE

“For more than 10 years, Ontario Creates has supported Reel Asian’s mandate to give young, aspiring filmmakers in the Asian community the opportunity to learn from film and TV professionals at the festival and year-round, leading to award-winning films produced right here in Ontario. The Industry Development Program has helped us to propel the careers of filmmakers like Shasha Nakhai, who won our pitch competition in 2012 and went on to produce the 2017 short film Frame 394, which was shortlisted for an Oscar. We are thankful that the government still sees the value in supporting the arts during this time.”

– Deanna Wong
Executive Director, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival

Additional Resources

Related Topics

Arts and Culture

Learn more about the live performances, cultural institutions and creative grants the province has to offer. Learn more


Learn about the government services available to you and how government works. Learn more

Travel and Recreation

Learn more about hunting and fishing, provincial parks, festivals and events, and visiting Ontario. Learn more


Attawapiskat First Nation Seeks For DeBeers to Clean Up their Mess – Net Newsledger

September 28, 2020

ATTAWAPISKAT FN – DeBeers Canada (DBC) is seeking Ontario Government approval for a third landfill waste site to be built and filled up at the Victor Mine Site, located in a vulnerable James Baywetlands area, and in a place of critical importance to Attawapiskat. The Victor Mine is now in the closure phase, where decommissioning and remediation are supposed to leave the landscape in a clean and safe state. The mine operated from 2005 to 2019 and with an annual production rate is 2.7 million tonnes a year, or about 600,000 carats a year in diamond grade.

“DeBeers could and should be transporting that waste through the winter road it has maintained for the last many years, to markets and facilities south of us, where it can be treated and reused,” says Attawapiskat Chief David Nakogee. “We’re talking about 100,000 cubic metres of material that could be reused or recycled. DeBeers unilaterally cancelled the contract for the winter road project because they said they don’t need it. Of course they don’t need it when they have the alternative of turning our lands into their garbage dump instead of building a winter road.”

Read More: http://www.netnewsledger.com/2020/09/28/attawapiskat-first-nation-seeks-for-debeers-to-clean-up-their-mess/

Dr. Joseph LeBlanc Joins Board of Directors of the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 28, 2020  – The Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security (“The Centre”) is honoured to announce the appointment of Dr. Joseph LeBlanc to the Centre’s Board of Directors. He will replace Dr. Mustafa Koç, who is leaving the board after serving as a director since the Centre’s founding in 2016.

Dr. LeBlanc is a life-long Northern Ontarian and member of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. He was the Director, Indigenous Affairs at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, before being appointed their inaugural Associate Dean, Equity and Inclusion in July 2020.  Before joining the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, he worked for a diverse range of organizations, including academic institutions, Indigenous organizations, charities, and non-profits. Recently, Dr. LeBlanc co-led the development of the Northern Ontario Indigenous Food Security Collaborative, which focuses on advancing Indigenous food security and food sovereignty in Northern Ontario.

“Dr. LeBlanc brings valuable perspectives on food systems work, community planning and project implementation to support the Centre’s focus on reducing food insecurity across Canada,” said Lynda Kuhn, Chair of the Centre. “He will also help build our understanding and approach to advancing food security among Indigenous people across Canada, who are disproportionately impacted by this critical health, social and cultural issue.”

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Mustafa Koç, who was instrumental in supporting the Centre’s work as a Director through our early years. We look forward to continuing to share learning and benefit from his expertise, built on decades long involvement in advancing food security nationally and globally.”

Dr. LeBlanc holds an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Forest Conservation, an Environmental Management Certificate, and a PhD in Forest Sciences from Lakehead University. He is recognized as a leading expert in Indigenous food systems and community development in Canada.

About the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security
The Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security (the Centre) is a registered charity committed to working collaboratively to reduce food insecurity in Canada by 50% by 2030. The Centre advocates for critical public policies and invests in knowledge building and food-based programs that advance the capacity of people and communities to achieve sustainable food security. The Centre was created in 2016 and is governed by a board of directors, including four independent experts.

Media Contact: [email protected]; Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security Contact: Sarah Stern, [email protected]


Fort Frances to gift fire truck to Couchiching First Nation – CBC

Sep 28, 2020

The Town of Fort Frances will look at gifting one of its reserve pumper trucks to neighbouring Couchiching First Nation.

Town council will consider the idea on Monday night, as the fire department said the pumper is no longer needed by the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service.

The truck is already stored at Couchiching First Nation, Fort Frances Fire Chief Tyler Moffitt wrote to council.

He said the 1995 Volvo pumper truck has been parked at the community to ensure it is out of the elements. Volunteer firefighters at Couchiching have outfitted the truck with equipment.

Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/fort-frances-fire-truck-couchiching-1.5739243

First Nations police services seek higher, stable funding after throne speech – Globalnews.ca

September 26, 2020

The Rama Police Service, which serves the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, does not have dedicated funding for forensic and crime investigation units, or to provide aid to victims.

Rama Police Chief Jerel Swamp said the force provides front-line, culturally responsive policing to the community near Orillia, Ont., and like other Indigenous police services, it does so with limited resources.

“We’re the only police services in Canada that is not classified as an essential service,” said Swamp, who is also a vice-president at the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association.

Read More: https://globalnews.ca/news/7361225/first-nations-police-services-throne-speech/

Embracing Digital Innovation and Achieving Excellent Results for Canadian Fine Art & Inuit Art at Waddington’s

TORONTO  – The artworld has changed drastically since March but the one constant is that collectors continue to look for opportunities to buy and sell quality art. Livestream, or hybrid auctions as they are often referred to, have become the hot topic of the season.

Waddington’s continues to embrace digital innovation to best serve our clients and last week staged two evening auctions without a client present in the house.

The auctions were held live in Waddington’s Toronto gallery but for the first time in 170 years without a packed auction room and without paddles waving in the air. The audience was entirely virtual with staff socially distanced on tiered rows of phone banks. The production was livestreamed on YouTube, with bidding by telephone and absentee bids and via our online auction partner Invaluable.

The combined results of the two expressly Canadian art auctions totaled over $3 million.

INUIT ART AUCTION – September 16

Our major Inuit Art auction featured 125 lots representing an impressive mix of important historical and contemporary works attracting buyers from across Canada, the U.S.A., and the United Kingdom. The success of the auction is a testament to the continued growth in collectors’ passion for Inuit art, attracting new bidders and demonstrating a general strengthening across the market.

Works by iconic artists including Joe Talirunili, Kenojuak Ashevak and Pauta Saila all achieved superb results exceeding their pre-sale estimates.

Highlight Results

Joe Talirunili, MIGRATION BOAT, stone sculpture – Price Realised $216,000
Kenojuak Ashevak, THE ENCHANTED OWL, stone cut print – Price Realised $204,000
Pauta Saila, ATTACKING BEAR, stone sculpture – Price Realised $28,800
Kenojuak Ashevak, NIGHT SPIRITS, stone cut print – Price Realised $28,800
Pauta Saila, DANCING BEAR, stone sculpture – Price Realised $45,600

Inuit Art Auction Total: $999,950


Waddington’s specialty of offering works fresh to market proved to be a continued formula for success. Mainstays of Canadian Art auctions performed very well, including works by Tom Thomson, Jean Paul Riopelle, Lawren Harris, and three works by Cornelius Krieghoff which all sold above their pre-sale estimates.

Tom Thomson, A QUIET SUMMER EVENING, c.1913 – Price Realised $360,000
Jean Paul Riopelle, COMPOSITION, c.1955, oil on canvas – Price Realised $168,000
Lawren Stewart Harris, PINE TREES, KEMPENFELT BAY, c.1916 – Price Realised $132,000
Cornelius Krieghoff, GOING TO THE VILLAGE, 1849 – Price Realised $90,000

Canadian Fine Art Auction Total: $2,128,000

Other Notable Sales

Waddington’s was honoured to offer Nanai No. 4 by William Perehudoff, one of many wonderful paintings entrusted to us from an important estate in Alberta. Massive interest in this exceptional example of the artist’s late 1960s abstract style required use of all our telephone lines plus additional phone bidders on cell phones to accommodate the bids from across North America. This favourite throughout the previews smashed its presale estimate of $12,000$16,000 to sell for $66,000.

Tom Thomson’s paintings are always a rare find and we were honoured to offer two in the same auction, both listed in the catalogue raisonné by art historian and curator Joan Murray. Alongside this legend of Canadian art, we continue to be proud to offer works by Kent Monkman, a legend in the making. With his notoriety is on the rise around the world we were very pleased to sell Fort Edmonton for $40,800, demonstrating that Canadian Contemporary Art is an excellent investment and holds its value on the secondary market. We are pleased to offer another work by Monkman this October in our online Contemporary Art auction, this time from the artist’s Modern Love print series.

Carefully selected offerings deserving the exposure of our major auction included a powerful oil on canvas by Kenneth Lochhead entitled The Burial, Alex Janvier’s Power Struggle and a lovely study for a fully realized canvas by Andre Bièler, Cap Tourmente. All found enthusiastic bidders who appreciated the opportunity to acquire works of such rarity and quality.

Continuing Waddington’s charitable commitment, we were proud to help honour the legacy of the late Richard Thurston LaPrairie and offer a number of works generously donated by the Estate, including this striking painting by David Thauberger. Proceeds from the sale of each work sold will be donated to Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium to benefit children living with cancer. The remainder of the Estate consigned to Waddington’s will be featured in a series of auctions later this fall and spring 2021, with the next auction focused on Indigenous art running online October 3 – 8.

Waddington’s also thanks the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation for consigning a vibrant painting by Iskowitz entitled Blue Red-C. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will benefit the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation which awards an annual prize to mid-career artists and is vital to the Canadian arts community. The sale of this lot will enable the artist’s important legacy to continue.

Waddington’s is not new to conducting online auctions, achieving successful results in some 80 online auctions each year. With record-breaking bids placed during both these major auctions, collectors demonstrated their enthusiasm and confidence in buying quality art via this enhanced digital format. We are pleased to offer the excitement of a truly live auction in the most effective and safe way while achieving the results our clients expect.

Note: All prices quoted are in Canadian Dollars and include Buyer’s Premium.

Please visit our website for all past auction results and upcoming auctions.

About Waddington’s

Waddington’s is Canada’s most diversified provider of auction and appraisal services.  We specialise in Asian, Canadian, Inuit and Indigenous, International and Contemporary Art, as well as Decorative Arts and Design, Fine Jewellery and Fine Wine & Spirits.


For further information: [email protected]


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