The Ontario government is rewriting the way it consults First Nations in the province’s Far North in its attempt to accelerate plans to build a road to the remote Ring of Fire mineral discoveries. But some Indigenous groups that oppose the long-stalled mining project accuse Premier Doug Ford of trying to do an end run.
The Progressive Conservative government’s fall economic statement last month included proposed changes to Ontario’s Far North Act aimed at spurring the construction of an all-season road into the region.
Long a booster of the project, most recently estimated to cost at least $1.6-billion, Mr. Ford has previously vowed to jump on a bulldozer himself to get development started.
Situated in the swampy James Bay lowlands, 550 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, the Ring of Fire contains deposits of nickel, chromite and other minerals, but the finds have never been proven to be economical to mine.
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