A group of five Ontario First Nations staged a rally in Toronto on Thursday, protesting Premier Doug Ford’s mining policies as detrimental to the land they depend upon for sustenance, and accusing him of failing to adequately consult with them on development.
Attended by several hundred people, the rally follows a much smaller protest at the Ontario Legislature in the spring, and comes before a much bigger march planned for September that is aimed at marshalling broad-based public support for First Nations opposed to the Ontario government’s pro-development stance.
Sworn in in 2018, Mr. Ford has been an ardent booster of the provincial mining industry. On several occasions, he said he’d be willing to jump on a bulldozer himself in order to build roads into the long-stalled Ring of Fire critical minerals project in the province’s far North.
Last year, Mr. Ford named former long-time gold industry executive George Pirie as his Minister of Mines. Earlier this year, Mr. Pirie introduced measures aimed at speeding up mine development in Ontario, including allowing companies to defer payments related to mine closures.
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