Ministers’ meeting with Mushkegowuk chiefs hailed as ‘tremendous step forward’ (Timmins Daily Press – December 6, 2021)

Gathering facilitated by Timmins Mayor Pirie

A meeting of Mushkegowuk chiefs held in Timmins Friday with a pair of provincial ministers is being hailed as a “historic” and “tremendous step” towards responsible development in the James Bay and Hudson Bay coastal regions.

A joint commitment was made to re-establish a Treaty Round Table through a Memorandum of Understanding between Ontario and the Mushkegowuk Council. There was also a commitment by both sides to explore an all-season road to western James Bay coastal communities led by a First Nations-led Environmental Assessment process.

The ministers also committed to exploring of Ontario’s potential role in the Mushkegowuk Council’s National Marine Conservation Area project.

Ontario’s Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford, who was one of the two provincial ministers at the meeting, told The Daily Press they came away from the meeting very satisifed that they were able to “strike an important balance between conservation principles … and the need for necessary or critical infrastructure, and potential for responsible resource development involving partnerships with Indigenous communities.“

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