Constance Lake FN and Lecours Lumber reach agreement
February 25, 2013
By: Kapuskasing Times
Chief Roger Wesley of Constance Lake First Nation and Ben Lecours of Lecours Lumber Company Ltd. announced February 22 that they have reached tentative agreements on the terms and conditions for a new land lease and related provisions on employment and business opportunities, that will provide the needed certainty for the continuation of the Lecours Sawmill Operation which is located on Constance Lake First Nation reserve lands.
“We are very pleased with the agreements we have reached today, February 22, it’s been a very meaningful journey and now we move forward in mutual respect,” said Chief Roger Wesley. “We have established the basis for our ongoing support and participation in the Lecours Sawmill. Following legal review of the documents, we will be consulting with our membership and seeking their approval to move forward and execute the agreements.”
The parties were assisted by a Regina based mediator, Kenneth Gamble, who was able to facilitate the resolution of the outstanding issues that had hampered earlier settlement attempts. In addition to a Lease agreement for lands on which the project is located, memorandum of agreements were reached with respect to the employment and training for Constance Lake members, and business opportunities for the First Nation businesses.
“These agreements were critical to the future of our operations” noted Ben Lecours. “We are relieved to have reached agreements that provide us long term tenure and establish the basis for the ongoing support of Constance Lake. This is good news for us, our employees and the entire region.”
Details of the agreements will not be released until the approval processes by both Lecours and the Constance Lake First Nation have been completed. Final approvals are anticipated by the end of March 2013.