New Ontario government provides no ‘quick fix’ for chromite smelter, says former minister (CBC News Sudbury – May 22, 2018)

Former cabinet minister Rick Bartolucci digs into provincial mining politics

Communities in the running for a new chromite smelter will be watching the upcoming provincial election closely. Thunder Bay, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury have all made their pitch for Noront’s proposed facility, which will process chromite from the Ring of Fire, and bring with it hundreds of jobs.

But can the party that forms the next government influence where the smelter ends up? Rick Bartolucci, former Sudbury MPP and provincial Minister of Northern Mines and Development, told CBC’s Morning North that even though the three major parties have plans for the Ring of Fire, selecting the smelter’s home is not an easy answer.

“It is a very, very complex process,” Bartolucci said. “And for those who think there’s a quick fix regardless of what party gets in, it’s just not there. This is a complex development.”

‘A Sudbury nationalist’

Bartolucci, who helped stickhandle negotiations with Cliffs Natural Resources when they considered a chromite project in 2012, said he expects each elected member to lobby hard for their respective districts.

“I think someone referred to me a while back as Sudbury nationalist,” Bartolucci said. “But I also realized I had to be fair in my decision making.”

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