“Very soon.” That’s the best answer Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne gave while commenting on when Ontario might see some progress on the Ring of Fire mining development, located in the James Bay Lowlands.
Wynne made the comment in Timmins Thursday morning where she was speaking at the Timmins Family YMCA and meeting with community leaders. While the premier was promoting her government’s Children and Youth Pharmacare Program, she also met with reporters to talk about her tour across Northern Ontario.
In responding to a question about the fact that Timmins is a mining supply community, as well as being a mining town, the premier was asked when the government might be expected to be more proactive in helping the Ring of Fire project to move forward.
“I know that Timmins is a real launching pad, isn’t it, for the mining industry and an important part of the supply chain,” said Wynne, who added her government is in active talks with the Matawa First Nations to get a road established into the Ring of Fire area. It is located in the McFauld’s Lake area, roughly 600 kilometres northwest of Timmins and is the site of the huge chromite and nickel deposit, which is valued in the tens of billions of dollars.
Wynne repeated what she has been telling other Northern Ontario communities this week; that the First Nations need to come to some sort of agreement because Ontario is willing now to spend infrastructure money.
“We have a billion dollars on the table that we want to invest in infrastructure that is necessary in order to be able to open up that development in the Ring of Fire,” said Wynne. She added that her government has been working for the past few years to get the First Nations to try to reach a consensus. But if that cannot be done, she said Ontario would push ahead.
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