The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle challenged the federal government this week to accept responsibility to help develop the Ring of Fire and make a financial commitment to do so.
Gravelle wrote Kenora MP Greg Rickford, minister of state for Science and Technology and FedNor minister, asking the federal government to “step up to the plate” and be a committed partner in developing the rich chromite deposits.
Gravelle highlighted the potential benefits the Ring of Fire will have for First Nations and other people in Ontario and across Canada.
He pointed out the federal government has supported large-scale resource development initiatives in other parts of Canada because of their potential for national economic and social benefits, citing developments in B.C. and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Gravelle said the development corporation he announced almost three weeks ago “reflects our commitment to the infrastructure that is critical to successful development into the Ring of Fire.”
The Ring of Fire, located 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is a part of Canada that has never been developed so there is a “clear call for the federal government to take action with us to unlock its potential,” said Gravelle.
Rickford said he and Gravelle are looking to meet at soon as is mutually convenient, but he said neither he nor other partners invited to join the development corporation were given any notice of it before Gravelle announced its formation in early November.
Nor have he or other partners received details of how the development corporation will function.
Michael Mantha, the Ontario New Democrats critic for Northern Development and Mines, has expressed frustration at not being able to obtain any information about how the corporation will function.
But while the federal government is willing to work with the province, there are key decisions the Ontario government must make before real progress can be made in the Ring of Fire, said Rickford.
One is how to develop a transportation corridor to move ore from mine sites to a rail depot in Nakina, he said.
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