Ring on federal radar: MP – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – March 27, 2016)


Historic investments in infrastructure and education for First Nations will help advance the Ring of Fire, says Sudbury Liberal MP Paul Lefebvre.

In Tuesday’s federal budget, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau allocated $8.4 billion to be spent on First Nations in the next five years, with much of it to be invested after the Grits’ first term.

There was no specific mention of other infrastructure investments in the rich chromite deposits in the James Bay Lowlands in the budget. Lefebvre said no projects were identified anywhere in Canada, but billions will be invested in such projects.

The money for First Nations will be invested in decent housing and potable water for indigenous people who badly need them. Many of the First Nations that will receive funding are located in northwestern Ontario, in and around the Ring of Fire.

Investments in basic necessities “all go together” with money the federal government may spend on other infrastructure such as roads, rail and hydroelectric systems, said Lefebvre.

The Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne has allocated $1 billion to build infrastructure in the Ring of Fire, located about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. It doesn’t appear any of that money has been spent, although it was pledged before the June 2014 provincial election and again in the February 2015 byelection.

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