Negotiations are continuing over an expired lease between a lumber company, which was facing closure, and a First Nation community.
Family-owned Lecours Lumber near Hearst, which owns a sawmill and planing mill, sits on land held in trust by the Crown for the Constance Lake First Nation.
The current lease expired in 2008 and earlier this fall, the company received a notice to evict from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). Lecours had until Nov. 16 to vacate the property, including its assets.
The company began operations in 1943, two years before the band was created. About 10 years later, the company was informed that it was on First Nation land and a lease was negotiated.
Since the 2008 lease expired, negotiations have been ongoing between the two parties but they were unable to come to an agreement.
AANDC has been requested by both parties to be at the table during current negotiations.