Indigenous-led coalition fighting for consultation on urban development may get injunction instead

Four-day ceremony will be held for every tree felled for elevated transit line

Why It Matters

Canadian law has long enshrined Indigenous peoples’ right to meaningful consultation but has rarely delivered. A new, Indigenous-led coalition hopes to change that regarding one urban infrastructure project.

Suzanne Smoke isn’t going to give up one more inch of land without a fight — and she’s not alone.

The acting president of the American Indian Movement’s Ontario chapter is heading an Indigenous-led coalition fighting for meaningful consultation after Metrolinx, a provincial agency overseeing transit in the Greater Toronto Area, expropriated a section of land used for ceremony by First Nations people, as well as recreation and respite by residents of Toronto’s Mount Dennis neighbourhood.

“I’m willing to stand on that front line, and I’ll go to jail,” says Smoke. “I am so done with these developers and politicians that are just lining their own back pockets at the expense of brown people.”

At issue is a 1.5-kilometre stretch of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. Unlike other portions of the $4.7 billion light rail line, this soon-t

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