Saultites are suffering because of the tangled web of overlapping government approvals needed for Noront’s proposed ferrochrome smelter, a veteran federal politician and business leader told members of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 8.
“I want to be clear: civic engagement is important and communities must have a voice in project development,” said Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
During a 21-year political career, Beatty served as Conservative minister of national revenue, solicitor general, minister responsible for Canada Post, minister of communications, minister of national defence, minister of state for the Treasury Board, minister of national health and welfare, and secretary of state for external affairs.
He said Canadians are seriously overregulated. “Here in the Sault, you’re feeling the unfortunate effects of this issue, with the proposed construction of Noront’s new ferrochrome processing plant.
Before the proposed facility could even begin working on various regional, provincial and federal approvals, some began working outside these processes in an attempt to derail the program,” Beatty said.