‘Secret side deals’ hurt Ring of Fire progress, says First Nation chief – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 16, 2017)


Neskantaga urges province to work with all Matawa chiefs, not a select few

The “politics of division” won’t advance progress on a contentious Ring of Fire road corridor, contends the chief of a remote First Nation community.

Neskantaga’s Wayne Moonias is offended by remarks made by Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister David Zimmer in the Ontario legislature after a trip made last month to an exploration camp in the James Bay lowlands, hosted by Noront Resources and the chiefs of Webequie and Marten Falls.

In a Nov. 14 letter written to Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle, and obtained by Northern Ontario Business, Moonias reminds the province that his community still has not consented to a provincial plan to begin construction on an east-west road into the Far North mineral belt by 2019.

“We are deeply troubled by the politics of division, a politics of side deals and misleading public announcements, that Ontario is recklessly pursuing,” Moonias wrote.

During the Oct. 23 Question Period in Queen’s Park, Zimmer spoke about his day trip to Noront’s fly-in Esker Camp and tour of the company’s exploration project, 530 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

There, Zimmer said he met with the “Ring of Fire chiefs” and was involved in “extensive briefings, extensive consultations, to find out how to best deal with the transportation corridor issue.”

Zimmer was responding to criticism from Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano on the “Third World conditions” in these isolated communities and the government’s lack of movement on the road development.

For the rest of this article: https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/industry-news/mining/secret-side-deals-hurt-ring-of-fire-progress-says-first-nation-chief-768373