Ministerial visit highlights mining investments, and tensions – by Ian Kaufman (Northern Ontario Business – April 24, 2023)

A visit to Thunder Bay by Ontario’s finance and mining ministers highlighted new mining investments, but also demonstrated serious concerns over inadequate consultation from some First Nations

THUNDER BAY — Two high-profile provincial ministers visited Thunder Bay last week, promoting new dollars included in the Ford government’s 2023 budget meant to support mining exploration and development.

The visit also highlighted recent tensions with some First Nations leaders over the government’s approach to mining, with a representative of Gull Bay First Nation speaking out at a press conference on the community’s concerns over new mining exploration in its traditional territory.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy and Mines Minister George Pirie were on hand alongside local MPP Kevin Holland and mining industry players for a media event held in Thunder Bay at Green Technology Metals on April 19.

The two ministers promoted new funding for the Ontario Junior Exploration Program that was included in the 2023 budget. The budget heralded a $6-million expansion to the program, bringing its total budget to $35 million.

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