Ring of Fire Remarks by the Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy – Ontario Minister of Finance – 2022 Ontario Budget Address (April 28, 2022)

Check Against Delivery

And while we’re at it, Mr. Speaker… It is time to do more to tap into the enormous resource potential spread across this province. Starting with the Ring of Fire.

Canada is the only country in the Western Hemisphere with all of the raw materials required for a lithium-ion battery… With Northern Ontario producing graphite, cobalt, lithium, nickel and other required minerals.

The Ring of Fire has the potential to bring multigenerational prosperity to Northern and First Nation communities… While supporting a home-grown supply chain for battery technology, electronics, and electric and hybrid vehicles.

In an era of geopolitical instability… Seizing our critical mineral opportunity and developing the Ring of Fire is a strategic necessity for Canada.

Our government has released our Critical Minerals Strategy… A five-year road map that will help make this province a global leader in supplying critical minerals.

And a key part of our plan, Speaker, is the Corridor to Prosperity…the roads to the Ring of Fire.

These roads will help bring critical minerals to the manufacturing hubs in the South, which will bring prosperity to Ontario’s North… And help improve access to health care, goods and services, education, housing and economic opportunities for First Nation communities.

Our government has committed up to $1 billion to build critical legacy infrastructure, including all-season roads to the Ring of Fire.

And just this month, we reached a historic milestone… With Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation submitting terms of reference for the proposed Northern Road Link all-season road project Environmental Assessment.

Speaker, we were encouraged when the federal government followed our lead with $3.8 billion for a new Critical Minerals Strategy… And we continue to call on them to join us in this once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Speaker, it’s time to build the roads to the Ring of Fire.

Just think, Mr. Speaker, when we open up the Ring of Fire… We can mine many of the critical minerals that electric vehicles and batteries require, right here.

We can produce the clean steel right here. We can make the batteries right here.
We can train and deploy the labor force we need, right here.

And we can assemble the hybrid and electric cars of the future right here.
We can do it all.

For years, the missing piece was a government that was prepared to tie it together…
With a real plan.

Well, Ontario now has that government. So, Mr. Speaker – let’s Get it Done.