Editorial: Ontario gov’t to fund road to Ring of Fire, nearby First Nations – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – August 30, 2017)

It’s the first bit of genuinely good news about Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral district in five years: the Ontario government has pledged “support” and provincial funding to build two roads into the fledgling mining camp in the James Bay lowlands that would also link previously isolated First Nations communities in the area to the province’s all-season road network.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne made the statement on Aug. 21 in Thunder Bay, Ont., flanked by three of her ministers: Indigenous Relations Minister David Zimmer; Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle; and Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro.

The announcement was made with the chiefs of the Marten Falls, Webequie and Nibinamik First Nations, which would be most affected by the roads. Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum and Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse attended the announcement, as did Noront Resources president and CEO Alan Coutts.

“What we set out to do was work in partnership with First Nations as we move forward to make this very, very important investment in infrastructure that will allow for the development of this resource,” Wynne said. “But it will mean much more to the communities than that.”

Wynne said “there has been criticism … that we weren’t moving quickly enough. And I want to be clear that our commitment to this project has never been in doubt. I’ve always maintained that we are going to make this investment.

For the rest of this editorial: http://www.northernminer.com/news/editorial-ontario-govt-fund-road-ring-fire-nearby-first-nations/1003789090/

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