The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
Some of Ontario’s top politicians — including Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk — met with their Northern Ontario colleagues in Timmins on Friday. Not surprisingly, the stalled Ring of Fire development was very much on everyone’s minds.
“We’ve had a great session here this morning with northern leaders – municipal and First Nations and Metis,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a teleconference with reporters. “This is really about a relationship that’s extremely important to our government.
“Whether we’re talking about infrastructure in the North or whether we’re talking about availability of health services or whether we’re talking about relationships between government and First Nations governments, all of those issues are of real importance (to) us.”
Joining Wynne in Timmins were ministers Eric Hoskins (Economic Development and Trade), David Orazietti (Natural Resources), Linda Jeffrey (Municipal Affairs and Housing), David Zimmer (Aboriginal Affairs), Michael Gravelle (Northern Development and Mines), Glen Murray (Infrastructure and Transportation), Michael Coteau (Citizenship and Immigration), Deb Matthews (Health and Long-Term Care) and Steven Del Duca (parliamentary assistant to Finance Minister Charles Sousa).
The summit was organized following the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference held in August. Matichuk was there, along with the mayors from North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Thunder Bay’s CAO.
She said she was pleased with the day’s events and the turnout.
“What was really nice to see was all the communities that were there. We all realized that we need to work together to grow the North, and that was loud and clear. We met with the chief of the First Nations and we’ve come to an understanding that we’re going to work together.”
As expected, the Ring of Fire was a hot topic. Located northwestern Ontario, the Ring of Fire is home to billions in untapped mineral wealth. However, Cliffs Natural Resources, which wanted to open a chromite mine in the Ring and ship the ore to Capreol for processing, creating up to 1,000 jobs, pulled out last month, citing a number of issues.
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