Romano plans to pen private member’s bill designed to better educate Ontarians – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – October 20, 2017)

Sault MPP Ross Romano said he got a hard life lesson during his two-week trip to First Nation communities in Ontario’s far north.

So much so, he said, that he’s already drafting a private member’s bill that he hopes will enlighten Ontarians and provide future generations with a better understanding of how some First Nation communities live. That education also needs to include a better understanding of treaties and how they work and teach youth, at a younger age, to better appreciate relationships with Indigenous people.

“The prejudices and discrimination that exist are very obvious and something that I really learned a lot about by spending time in these communities,” Romano told The Sault Star. “I was told I may be the only politician that has ever spent a night in these communities.”

Romano’s trip, one he promised during the byelection campaign – was twofold. It was designed to get a first-hand view of the Ring of Fire area and to visit the First Nation communities to learn about their needs and how the mining development will impact their lives.

The Ring of Fire, a vast mining area about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is believed to hold one of the world’s richest deposits of chromite. Before any of the chromite – or other minerals – can be extracted, a year-round access road must be built through the area.

Romano said while the far north has incredible beautiful areas, he was shocked to see communities without the life basics Ontarians expect to have.

“This private members bill will not produce fruit you are going to pick today but for future generations, I think this is important to see this perspective,” Romano said. “It was met positively by the Chiefs I met with.”

Romano was able to visit four of the five First Nation communities in the far north.

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