Provincial money ends for Ring of Fire talks as Matawa chiefs await response, negotiator says – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – November 9, 2018)

Matawa chiefs negotiator Bob Rae says First Nations ‘ready to move ahead’

The lead negotiator for the chiefs of Indigenous communities closest to the Ring of Fire says they’re still waiting to hear back from the provincial government about how talks will look going forward.

That comes as Bob Rae says money committed by the province since 2013 that funded a number of initiatives through the regional framework agreement between Ontario and the nine member communities of the Matawa Tribal Council ran out at the end of October.

“We’re ready to move ahead with discussions on the key elements of the regional framework which has been agreed to,” Rae said. “We’re ready to sit down with the province and the federal government whenever they’re ready to respond.”

“The regional framework did call for a process that would get us to understandings on the environmental assessment process, on a community benefit fund … and to deal with infrastructure questions going forward as well as with issues around revenue sharing,” Rae continued.

Provincial money for the regional talks funded things like the First Nation community consultations, as well as work for environmental assessments and transportation and infrastructure planning, Rae said.

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