Last year I thought the Soo was in the forefront to acquire the ferrochromite smelter plant that Noront was proposing to build. Noront CEO Alan Coutts was interviewed on CBC radio’s Up North with Jason Turnbull last summer, and the insinuation was that the Soo had everything they wanted in terms of location, workforce, transportation etc.
It was of my opinion that all we had to do as a city and population was to embrace this venture and it would come to fruition. Things don’t look as fruity after some reading on the subject during the past couple of weeks.
I’m not suggesting that we (SSM) are out of the running (it’s still a close race), but I am suggesting that a couple other communities are making inroads and headlines, while it seems we are standing still. Aside from the efforts of our local political officials…I’m not as confident as I was.
In respect to what we have been doing as a community, Sault MP Terry Sheehan was proactive off the start; he has met many times with Noront executives in his desire to sell the Soo as the preferred location.
I am sure he has knocked on many doors on The Hill in Ottawa to garner support. Sault MPP Ross Romano has visited the Ring of Fire (lower James Bay) in order to get a first-hand look at the area that will be sending the raw materials to the plant. At the municipal level, Mayor Provenzano and the city have also met with Noront officials to express their interest and commitment.
For the rest of this column: https://saultonline.com/2018/01/opinion-the-heat-is-on-for-the-ring-of-fire/