Premier said Far North mine and road development will elevate standard of living in remote communities
Threats of litigation and conflict aside, Ontario Premier Doug Ford isn’t backing down from his government’s commitment to develop mines in the James Bay lowlands. “We’re building that Ring of Fire as sure as I’m talking to you,” said Ford in a media scrum in Brampton on May 11 for an unrelated announcement.
Ford responded after one Queen’s Park reporter asked him if his government will rethink its development plans in the Far North and if he’s “prepared to get on that bulldozer?” after absorbing much criticism and protests by Indigenous communities and leadership, and environmental activist groups, over his government’s approach to introducing Bill 71 in early March.
The reporter said from his research, mining experts have told him Ontario doesn’t need mining in the Ring of Fire to establish a domestic electric vehicle supply chain. “It’s going to benefit First Nations community,” replied Ford.
Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations, he said, are leading the environmental assessments and reiterated his government’s $1-billion commitment to build the roads network to reach the proposed mine sites and to connect these two remote communities to the provincial highway system for the first time.