There are all kinds of ways to describe the task that Ontario’s new Mines Minister, George Pirie, has been handed by Premier Doug Ford. For argument’s sake, you could call it Ontario’s hot potato.
After a resounding win against an incumbent New Democrat MPP in Timmins in the 2022 provincial election, Pirie was instantly being touted as a potential cabinet minister.
Pirie, whose low-key and non-confrontational style also helped him handily win the mayor’s race in Timmins in 2018, is a veteran mining executive with international experience and a long history of working with First Nations leaders. When Premier Ford announced his new cabinet in early July, Pirie was handed the Mines portfolio with a special mandate to develop the Ring of Fire.
From the time he was first elected as premier in 2018, and with the savvy and skilful assistance of then Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Indigenous Relations, Greg Rickford, Ford set out to dramatically alter the course of the Ring of Fire’s destiny which had been mired in Liberal/NDP limbo for 15 years.
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