Municipal leaders talk future ‘billion-dollar’ lithium industry in Thunder Bay, Ont., at AMO conference – by Sarah Law (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 24, 2023)

Leaders in Thunder Bay, Ont., voiced some of the city’s top priorities at the Association of Municipalities Ontario’s (AMO) annual general meeting and conference this week. The conference gives municipal leaders the chance to meet with provincial ministers and raise local concerns at a larger level in the hopes of getting more support.

The city sent Coun. Kristen Oliver and Coun. Shelby Ch’ng — chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the intergovernmental affairs committee — along with mayor Ken Boshcoff and city manager Norm Gale to London, Ont., to participate in a marathon of meetings.

Thunder Bay’s delegates met with eight ministers in total, discussing issues from mental health and addictions to energy and Indigenous affairs. A key topic on the table was the future of lithium processing facilities in Thunder Bay. This comes as the province ramps up efforts to electrify Ontario and lead the emerging green economy.

This spring, Avalon Advanced Materials bought an industrial property on Strathcona Avenue, the site of a former pulp and paper mill, where it plans to process lithium for use in electric vehicle batteries. But Avalon isn’t the only company looking to set up shop in the city.

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