Federal government has resumed talks with Ontario about the Ring of Fire: document – by Emma McIntosh (The Narwhal – February 27, 2023)


Internal emails obtained by The Narwhal appear to show a shift in relations between the two governments on the Ring of Fire. But some First Nations leaders say they’re still being left out

After a years-long stalemate over the far northern Ring of Fire, the federal government appears to have extended an olive branch to Ontario, resuming talks over the region’s future.

The province has asked with increasing impatience for the federal government to chip in about $1 billion for a road to the remote and environmentally-sensitive Ring of Fire region, 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont. — a move that could enable mining there.

“My team and I have been thinking about next steps for the Ring of Fire and potential options for collaboration with the Government of Ontario and local First Nations in our approach to supporting critical mineral development in the region,” wrote Jeff Labonté, assistant deputy minister for lands and minerals at Natural Resources Canada, in an Oct. 3, 2022 email to request a meeting with his counterpart at the Ontario Ministry of Mines, Afsana Quereshi.

“Thanks for reaching out, I look forward to the discussion,” Quereshi wrote back. The correspondence, obtained by The Narwhal through an access to information request, appeared to signal a shift in relations between the two governments on the file.

For the rest of this article: https://thenarwhal.ca/ring-of-fire-negotiations/