Ignace and nuclear waste organization ink ‘historic’ agreement – by Mike Stimpson (Northern Ontario Business – March 21, 2024)


The 80-page agreement restates the township’s commitment to a “willingness process” to determine whether Ignace supports being host to a repository for nuclear waste

IGNACE — The northwestern Ontario township on the shortlist for hosting nuclear waste storage has signed what it calls a “historic” agreement with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). A news release from Ignace stated, however, that the pact “in no way either guarantees that the Township will host a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel or that a decision on willingness has been made.”

Mayor Kim Baigrie said Tuesday the people of Ignace “should be excited” about the agreement but added that whether the community should welcome the proposed repository in their area is “everyone’s choice.”

Read more

Ontario doesn’t need Ring of Fire to achieve EV ambitions: experts – by Alan S. Hale (Politics Today – May 18, 2023)


Amid growing objections from First Nations, Premier Doug Ford remains dead set on developing the Ring of Fire to fuel Ontario’s goal of becoming a major player in the EV industry. But three mining industry experts Queen’s Park Today spoke to said Ontario can become a major global EV hub without the Ring of Fire.

However, they said giving up on the project would be a drastic measure that could significantly set that goal back for a long time and would also have geopolitical implications. Geologist and mining consultant Jim Franklin helped Spider Resources — the company that discovered mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire while searching for diamonds — understand what they had found.

Read more

Sudbury is at the ‘epicentre’ of the electric vehicle boom, says economic development minister – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 7, 2023)


Vic Fedeli predicts exciting year ahead for Northern Ontario on the critical minerals development front

There’s a window of opportunity for Ontario to be part of the electrical vehicle revolution, said Vic Fedeli, the province’s economic development minister, and Ontario needs to move fast to secure its global position.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and Northern Ontario’s place in the global transition to clean energy technologies took up much of Fedeli’s speech before a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce crowd on Feb. 6.

Read more

Northern Ontario MPs unhappy region stands to losing riding under redistribution plan – by Mia Jensen (Sudbury Star – August 22, 2022)


Representatives across Northern Ontario’s federal ridings intend to fight a proposed redistribution of federal electoral districts that would result in the region losing a seat. The proposal, released last week by the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, would bring drastic changes to Northern Ontario.

Based on the proposal, the region would lose one seat and ridings in the northeast — including Sudbury and Nickel Belt — would be dramatically overhauled. Nickel Belt would disappear and be replaced by the riding of Nickel Belt-Manitoulin. The newly constituted riding would take in part of Greater Sudbury, Elliot Lake, and Manitoulin Island.

Read more

Opinion: The politics and precarious nature of travel in Northern Ontario – by Eric Boutilier (Sudbury Star – July 26, 2022)


The Trudeau government is out of touch with the issues and deficiencies of intercity transportation in Canada

The familiar sound of a passenger train can once again be heard in areas of Northern Ontario that are served by VIA Rail Canada. The Crown corporation officially restored passenger rail services to pre-pandemic levels after more than two years of on-again, off-again, limited or indefinitely suspended train schedules.

Life appears to have returned to normal … at least for the time being. For those who require essential services in larger cities or access to remote regions of the province, there are now two frequencies a week on the Canadian and three between Sudbury and White River.

Read more

Party leaders pressed on their stance on Ring of Fire development at FONOM conference – by Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles (North Bay Nugget – May 12, 2022)


Debate about the development of the Ring of Fire was noticeably absent during Tuesday’s Northern Ontario Leaders’ Debate at the Capitol Centre. National and local media had an opportunity to raise the issue with the party leaders following the debate hosted by the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM).

Conservative Leader Doug Ford left the building immediately after the debate. NDP leader Andrea Horwath acknowledged some topics were missing, however “we were respectful about what they wanted to put on the agenda.”

Read more

Candidates have differing opinions on mining’s future in Sudbury – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – May 12, 2022)


Green candidate says new jobs will come from supply and services, and research, not mineral extraction

With the PC rep absent there was plenty the remaining mainstream Sudbury candidates could agree upon, although the three did clash from time to time — particularly on the question of how much mineral extraction drives the local economy.

Both Jamie West, the NDP incumbent, and David Farrow, running for the Liberals, took exception to Green candidate David Robinson’s assessment of how significant the city’s signature industry is to its future prosperity.

Read more

Sudbury election file: City has key role in critical minerals, Green candidate says -by Staff (Sudbury Star – April 30, 2022)


The Ford government “kneecapped” Laurentian University and its ability to conduct mining research and development when it was needed the most, the Green Party’s Sudbury candidate says.

Referring to a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, David Robinson said the world must cut emissions to fight climate change. A key part of that is the need for critical minerals for such things as batteries used in electric vehicles.

Read more

Trends troubling for north’s economic future (Kirkland Lake Northern News – November 24, 2021)


For report: https://bit.ly/3l6vkNO

Northern College has released an in-depth economic study outlining key barriers to economic expansion and recovery in Northern Ontario following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 24-page study, entitled Coming Back From Covid: A Plan to Rebuild Northern Ontario, was created in partnership with The StrategyCorp Institute of Public Policy and Economy, and was designed to provide an overview of past, current and future economic issues being faced by Ontario’s north.

Read more

Ontario Seeks to “Re-Focus” Far North Act (NetNewsLedger.com – November 9, 2021)


KENORA – NEWS – The Ontario government is proposing to refocus the Far North Act and its regulations for Far North economic development and joint planning with Indigenous partners. The revised Act will focus on enabling the development of all-season roads, electrical transmission projects and mineral development, while maintaining community-based land-use planning.

“Our government remains committed to working with Far North First Nations to support legacy infrastructure and responsible natural resource development that creates prosperity for First Nation communities,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs.

Read more

First Nation’s court victory sets precedent for equitable compensation – by John Woodside (Toronto Star – July 21, 2021)


More than 90 years after the Lac Seul First Nation’s reserve land was flooded to build a hydroelectric dam, Chief Clifford Bull says his people may finally receive just compensation.

The impact of the dam on the Lac Seul First Nation, traditionally the home of the Obishikokaang Anishinaabeg, was severe. It destroyed the nation’s way of life and many people moved away, Bull says.

“When I talk about total devastation, I mean there were 80 homes that went under … our sacred grounds, campsites, burials were washed up and bones were exposed — skulls were exposed — and that continues to this very day,” he said.

Read more

Province pours $7.9 million into forestry, mining in northeastern Ontario – by Colleen Romaniuk (Sudbury Star – July 19, 2021)


The provincial government announced more than $7.9 million in funding on Monday to support the forestry and mining sectors in northeastern Ontario. The money will support 16 different projects and create and maintain 112 jobs in the Sudbury and Algoma districts.

The funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and includes significant investments in the mining supply and service sector in Greater Sudbury.

“This is an important infusion of high-tech capacity in the supply chains of forestry and mining.

Read more

The Long Saga of Arrested Development in Northern Ontario – by Livio Di Matteo (Northern Economist Blog – July 14, 2021)


Ontario has suffered from slowing economic growth over the course of the 20th century but nowhere in the province has the problem been as severe as in northern Ontario.

From 1990 to 2005, total employment in Ontario grew 23 percent and real per capita GDP grew by 17 percent. However, even omitting the pandemic year, going from 2005 to 2019, Ontario’s total employment grew only 15 percent while real per capita GDP grew by 8 percent.

There is a similar trend of slowing employment growth after 2005 on a regional basis but some regions – especially the north – have fared worse than others. The most alarming picture comes from a glance at the overall employment growth picture from 1990 to 2019 (we need to omit 2020 because it is the pandemic year and makes things look even worse).

Read more

North bouncing ‘back faster’ compared to other parts of Canada – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – June 15, 2021)


While COVID-19 has rocked communities across Canada, many in Northern Ontario are faring better than elsewhere.

“As we cope with the challenges of the pandemic’s second and third waves, these impacts are becoming more regional in nature — a reflection of the vastness of this country and its diverse population,” said Anil Arora, chief statistician with Stats Canada, during a virtual presentation hosted by the Northern Policy Institute on Monday.

“Northern Ontario has not been hit as hard by the pandemic as my home province of Alberta, for example,” he said, adding the region has also seen “business activity bounce back faster” than in the rest of Ontario.

Read more

‘We’ve got what the world needs and we don’t talk about it’ – by Andrew Autio (Sudbury Star – March 31, 2021)


The economic potential of northeastern Ontario is largely untapped according to a new think-tank organization focused on promoting the region’s most appealing qualities to the world. The Abitibi Institute held its official launch last week.

The policy-focused organization has four founding members: Tony Makuch, president and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold, Timmins Mayor George Pirie, Robert Manseau, CEO of Commerce Management, and Gaetan Malette, a community consultant with Dumas Contracting.

Malette, the founding vice-president, lamented at how far the region’s forest industry has sunk over the past few decades. “The lack of effective policy essentially wiped out the pulp industry in Smooth Rock Falls, and the paper mill in Iroquois Falls,” he said.

Read more