Sudbury forum: Leap Manifesto the future – by Steve May (Sudbury Star – April 29, 2016)

Rarely I have a read an editorial as disconnected from reality as the Point of View piece, “Leap Manifesto a threat to Sudbury, NDP,” published April 13, 2016. The Leap Manifesto poses no risk to the mining industry, which helped build our local economy, and which will help transform Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire into a 21st century mineral extractive enterprise.

Leap offers a way forward for the Ring of Fire, where development has come to a grinding halt under Liberal and Conservative governments at the provincial and federal levels.

The Star’s editor contends that Leap’s goal is to shut down mining. Nothing could be further from the truth. The editor quotes directly from the Manifesto to bolster his case, but the quotes are selective. Missing is the piece of the Manifesto that refers to how mining and resource extraction must take place in a low-carbon future: by first obtaining a social license from people who make their homes in the areas impacted by the enterprise.

One of the reasons that so little headway has been made with the Ring of Fire, and with other resource extractive projects elsewhere in the nation, has been due to local opposition to disconnected governments and multinational corporations that continue to believe that they can largely ignore the people who live in the areas impacted by their operations.

This approach may have worked in the past – especially where marginalized people have been unable to pursue justice for themselves and their families. Indigenous peoples in particular have for too long been shut out of a decision-making process that directly effects their well-being.

The Leap Manifesto acknowledges the new reality and seeks to establish a framework for socially and environmentally responsible resource projects that will create the jobs that fuel our collective prosperity.

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