There’s a sense of progress on all sides that the resource-rich Ring of Fire region of Northern Ontario is on the brink of a breakthrough. Ontario’s new Mines Minister George Pirie has been tasked by Premier Doug Ford with getting the Ring of Fire across the finish line.
Minister Pirie was the keynote speaker at the Central Canada Mining Expo held recently in Thunder Bay. Pirie brings more than three decades of mining experience to the portfolio but his core strength in his new role, is a deep and personal commitment to ensuring that First Nations communities share in the Ring of Fire’s extraordinary economic benefits.
“I want to show my respect for the contributions of First Nations and recognize the role of treaty-making in what is now Ontario,” said Pirie at the outset of his remarks. Today, those contributions include a high number of communities that rely on Ontario’s mining industry.
“In the mining industry, there’s 45,000 people. And as you know, the 45,000 people are largely employed in Northern Ontario. And by Northern Ontario, I mean from North Bay, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, to Timmins and Thunder Bay.” Pirie pointed out that there are 90,000 people employed in Ontario’s auto sector.