First Nations consent and environmental impact dominate concerns at Ring of Fire demonstration on Ramsey Lake Road – by Allana McDougall (Sudbury Northern Life – September 7, 2018)

The three-hour long demonstration that took place at the intersection leading to Sudbury’s university campuses on Ramsey Lake Road stopped traffic for just three minutes.

Two round dances were scheduled to take place. One at 10 a.m. and another at 11 a.m.; only the 11 a.m. round dance occurred. Greater Sudbury Police Services was present at that time to direct right-turning traffic and to ensure the safety of those who participated. Left-turning traffic was not able to proceed.

Organizer Bruce McComber said that he’s been a part of a broad network of activists, scientists and environmentalists for almost ten years. According to him, that network has been trying to force the government and corporations to provide more thorough environmental assessments and pay better taxes, among other things. For him, opposition to the project includes acknowledgement of issues that precede development.

“There’s a number of underlying issues, ongoing, for example the lack of clean drinking water, all the drinking-water advisories, another thing is the under-funding or the lack of implementation of Jordan’s Principle, things of that nature,” McComber said. “So while those things remain unaddressed by governments and corporate sector it seems a little silly to forge ahead with the project in this specific context.”

“There are First Nations in the specific area that are supposedly the eight community stakeholders that are having suicide crises and actively opposing the project, saying that the government is being secretive, et cetera, et cetera. So it’s the same old business in the corporate sector. This is our small part in the overall effort to stop the mining and other related work in the region.”

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