Party leaders pressed on their stance on Ring of Fire development at FONOM conference – by Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles (North Bay Nugget – May 12, 2022)

Debate about the development of the Ring of Fire was noticeably absent during Tuesday’s Northern Ontario Leaders’ Debate at the Capitol Centre. National and local media had an opportunity to raise the issue with the party leaders following the debate hosted by the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM).

Conservative Leader Doug Ford left the building immediately after the debate. NDP leader Andrea Horwath acknowledged some topics were missing, however “we were respectful about what they wanted to put on the agenda.”

“The Ring of Fire has been an ongoing discussion for a long time. There’s no doubt there’s opportunity. Anything gets done is done with prior informed consent with First Nations communities. We have treaty responsibilities and we need to take those seriously.”

Horwath said it shouldn’t be just a matter of pulling resources out of the ground and sending them elsewhere to be processed. “Northern Ontario residents deserve to have good jobs here. One of the things Covid taught us is we need to keep jobs in the North so young people don’t have to go south for opportunity.”

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