Province needs better dialogue with First Nations on mining: NDP – by Ben Leeson (Sudbury Star – April 2023)

Hearing in Sudbury told that Bill 71 would amend the Mining Act aimed at shortening the time it takes to open new mines in Ontario

Northern Ontario New Democrats have accused the provincial government of reverting to a divide-and-conquer strategy that echoes the colonial past while consulting with First Nations on resource development such as the Ring of Fire.

Sol Mamakwa, MPP for Kiiwetinoong in northwestern Ontario and NDP critic for Northern Development, as well as Indigenous and Treaty Relations, was in Sudbury on Thursday for public hearings on Bill 71, the Building More Mines Act.

During a press conference with caucus colleagues Jamie West of Sudbury and France Gelinas of Nickel Belt, Mamakwa criticized the Progressive Conservative government for holding only two public hearings on the bill, the other being in Timmins this past Wednesday, and for allowing “very little input, from First Nations especially.”

Bill 71 would make a series of amendments to the Mining Act aimed at shortening the time it takes to approve, build and open new mines, as well as changes to make it easier for companies to recover minerals from mine tailings and waste, which Minister of Mines George Pirie has said will improve Ontario’s competitiveness and attract more investors to the province.

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