As election day looms in Ontario, Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford continues to tout his plan to develop the Ring of Fire, a mineral deposit the PCs say is vital for the future of electric vehicles. However, some Indigenous nations in the area say the plan’s consequences have not been adequately considered and the government hasn’t consulted them.
The Ring of Fire, about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is home to a 5,000-square-kilometre mineral deposit. The province’s plans include a $1-billion investment to build roads to access those deposits, as much of the remote area is now accessible only by plane, but the project has been up in the air for years. Last week, The Narwhal reported the $1-billion investment the province has asked the feds for is far from being secured.
A number of Indigenous communities are nestled in the area, with varying opinions on the mining proposition. Neskantaga First Nation sits on the Attawapiskat River, downstream from the would-be Ring of Fire.
Chief Wayne Moonias said the project would impact his community “forever” and that he doesn’t think the environmental assessment process now underway is sufficient. “The consultation is not adequate enough (for) the decisions that need to be made.
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