Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3 Sharbot Lake uranium protesters avoid jail

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
CBC News
Three people accused of protesting at a prospective uranium mining site in eastern Ontario in defiance of two court injunctions will not go to jail.

The three protesters appeared before Justice Douglas Cunningham Tuesday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to face contempt of court charges in connection with the occupation last year of a property near Sharbot Lake, about 60 kilometres north of Kingston.

Charges against two of the protesters were withdrawn.

A third protester agreed to stay away from the property in question in exchange for avoiding jail time.

Protesters from the Shabot Obaadjiwan and Ardoch Algonquin First Nations began occupying the property last summer, with support from some local protesters who are not aboriginal people. They were trying to stop the mining exploration company Frontenac Ventures Corp. from doing test drilling for uranium at the site, which the Algonquins claim as their land.

The charges were laid after the company successfully applied for court injunctions barring protesters from the property.

In February, Ardoch co-chiefs Paula Sherman and Robert Lovelace were sentenced to six months in jail after being found guilty of contempt of court for defying the injunctions. They were also fined $15,000 and $25,000 respectively.

After being sentenced, Sherman agreed to stop participating in protests to avoid going to jail.

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