PCs would ‘champion’ chromite deposit: Hudak – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – May 16, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

A Progressive Conservative government led by Tim Hudak would appoint a senior cabinet minister to head development of the Ring of Fire, not leave it to sit idle under the watch of a mid-level bureaucrat, says the Tory leader.

That cabinet minister would have the authority to “clear aside all obstacles,” so nothing stands in the way of the incredible opportunity for job and wealth creation offered by the massive chromite deposit, Hudak said Wednesday in a teleconference with reporters.

He and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli spoke about their party’s northern vision in the half-hour news conference, stressing the party’s determination to return Ontario to its No. 1 position in mining and forestry.

“The bottom line is, we want to see Northern Ontario back and firing on all c ylinders again,” said Hudak, by building on traditional strengths in natural resources and expertise in areas, such as technology.

When asked what his party would do differently from the Liberals to move development of the Ring of Fire ahead, Hudak said a number of things. It would work with the private sector to build a transportation corridor “to bring the ore to market, to refine the products and to create jobs, but also to make sure the energy sources (are there to) actually run the mines.”

He and Fedeli visited the area 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay last August. Hudak said it made him feel proud “as an Ontarian and a Canadian that, in the northern muskeg, hundreds and hundreds of kilometres from anywhere, we discovered a (chromite) vein that goes as deep as three CN towers stacked on top of each other.”

The Liberal government of former premier Dalton McGuinty and Premier Kathleen Wynne are letting opportunity pass us by, said Hudak, but his government would seize it.

Fedeli said his government would work with businesses such as Cliffs Natural Resources, KWG Resources and Noront Resources, and with First Nations to advance the project, but the first thing that must be done is to develop an all-seasons transportation route.

“There’s been a lot of dithering on this file,” said Fedeli, the former mayor of North Bay.

His government is looking at sharing resource revenue with First Nations, “something this (Liberal) government won’t do.”

Hudak said that will encourage First Nations to be “pro jobs, pro development.”

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