1919 was a watershed year for Timmins – by Karen Bachmann (Timmins Daily Press – August 16, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Can you believe that summer is almost over – and if you are wondering “what summer?” I concur completely. In just a scant few weeks, everyone will be returning to school, be it for the first time or for the last, or for somewhere in between.

The rest of us will just “get on with it,” and enjoy the fall and the return to busy days. However, today is still mid-August, we have a few weeks of lollygagging left to us, so I will not spoil things just yet.

In keeping with the last lazy days of the season, I give you a totally irreverent article focusing on small town happenings back in 1919.

As always, a little context – the Great War to End All Wars came to an end on Nov. 11, 1918, so slowly but surely the armies were standing down and the young men and women who survived the conflict were finally on their way home.

Your heart has to go out to Pte. Manley Cole, a resident of Timmins. He served in all four years of the war, was wounded in battle not once but twice, each time recuperating quickly. 

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Time to build a road to prosperity in the Far North – by Mark Quinn (Troy Media – August 13, 2013)


An all-weather road would increase economic development and provide a better quality of life

OTTAWA, ON, Aug 13, 2013/ Troy Media/ – Over the last decade Canadians have become increasingly aware of a number of First Nation communities that have been in serious crisis.

The plight of communities like Attawapiskat, Pikangikum, and Kashechewan are well known in the national media but what is less well known is that they are all in the same region, Northern Ontario.

These communities are three of the approximately 30 First Nation communities in Ontario’s Far North. Most of these communities have much in common and are facing remarkably similar challenges. The Far North – comprising some 42 per cent of Ontario’s landmass (approximately 420,000 square kilometers)  – has more in common with the arctic than with the rest of the province. Consider the following:

• it has virtually no community infrastructure;
• there is little access to the hydro grid in the region;

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Taking the province to task – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 2013)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. Ian Ross is the editor of Northern Ontario Business ianross@nob.on.ca.

For northwestern Ontario community leaders, if there’s a physical symbol of the glacial pace of provincial power planning, it’s the dormant Thunder Bay Generating Station.

Last November, Ontario Power Generation stopped work on converting the coal-burning plant to natural gas. The final decision whether to resume or not is expected at the end of summer. “Why are they dragging out this decision on Thunder Bay?” asked Hebert, the former general manager of Thunder Bay Hydro.

Frustrated by the province’s inertia, Larry Hebert, now the chairman of Common Voice Energy Task Force, reminded Ontario’s two leading energy planners last month that the mining boom is coming and they need to hurry up on building power infrastructure.

There’s major concern whether new mines will come into production before an East-West transmission corridor is finished and whether the mothballed Thunder Bay Generating Station will be kept in service.

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Mining review not good enough: Steelworkers – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – August 14, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

United Steelworkers Local 6500 president Rick Bertrand, and union health and safety representatives will meet Thursday with Labour Minister Yasir Naqvi to press their demand a full inquiry be called into mine safety in Ontario.

USW officials will go into the meeting convinced that Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government have “officially rejected” the call for a full-blown inquiry and are planning to announce a mining review be held instead.

The union said a senior government source informed them of Wynne’s decision not to hold an inquiry, similar to the one under way now into the June 2012 collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, in which two women were killed.

The source told the union the Liberals will instead announce plans for a review of mining practices “that falls short of the scope and standards of a commission of inquiry,” USW said in a news release.

The announcement about a review could come as early as this week, said the union. Bertrand called a review “an unacceptable alternative” to an inquiry. “It’s a disgrace this government believes it can placate miners, our families and our communities with its watered-down plan for a review,” said an angry Bertrand on his way to Toronto for the meeting with Naqvi.

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Nunavik mine owes $72 million to creditors; Chinese owners turn project over to Toronto bank – by Jane George (Nunatsiaqonline.ca – August 14, 2013)


Canadian Royalties Ltd. owes $53.6 million to eight Nunavik companies

Canadian Royalties Ltd.‘s Nunavik Nickel mine, which was to be Nunavik’s second operating mine, spinning out minerals for hungry markets abroad, appears so far to have left a trail of debt throughout Nunavik.

The creditors owed a total of nearly $54 million by the Chinese-owned mine include Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping, Desgagnés Transarctik Inc., the fuel division of the Fédération des Coopératives du Nouveau-Québec, Laval Fortin Adams, Iglu Construction and Nuvumiut Developments (Ganotec-Nunavumiut and Kiewit-Nunavumiut), which all have links to Nunavik Inuit organizations or individuals.

The construction firm Laval Fortin Adams is owed about $14 million, the largest amount of any of the Nunavik-based companies left holding the bill for work on the mine and docking complex. L’Echo Abitibien says another $16.4 million is owed to Construction Promec de Rouyn-Noranda.

Now the Chinese owners of the mine have turned the cash-strapped Nunavik Nickel mine over to a private merchant bank in Toronto, which will see if there’s hope of salvaging the project, where workers are still stockpiling ore.

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Owner puts Nunavut’s Lupin Mine project back into limbo – by NUNATSIAQ NEWS (Nunatsiaqonline.ca – August 13, 2013)


Elgin Mining posts $14.1 million loss for first half of 2013

Beset by financial losses and falling gold prices, the owner of Nunavut’s Lupin gold mine, Elgin Mining Inc., has put the property back into mothballs indefinitely, the company said Aug. 12 in a news release. “The Lupin camp was shut down in late April and will remain closed indefinitely,” Elgin Mining said.

The company said the Lupin camp and its infrastructure are in “excellent condition,” but that it will stay closed until the price of gold and other market conditions improve. To keep the site maintained, Elgin will spend less than $250,000 between now and the end of the year.

In 2011, when gold was trading at above $1,500 an ounce on global markets, Elgin Mining bought the property from MMG Resources Inc., the current developer of a set of lead-zinc projects in the western Kitikmeot.

At the time, Elgin planned to bring the mine, which had pumped out 3.5 million ounces of gold between 1982 and 2003, back into production.

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Where’s Canada’s national highway? – Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal Editorial (August 12, 2013)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

Among the many things for which U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower will be remembered is spear-heading one of the best road networks in the world. You can drive a BMW sports sedan as fast as you dare on Germany’s renowned autobahn — and possibly get killed doing it — but the American interstate highway system has few rivals in terms of size, overall road quality and connectivity.

Eisenhower can’t take all the credit. But he’s often the one cited for having the vision, which likely germinated during his Second World War tour in Europe as the Allies’ top commander.

The five-star general obviously realized that an interstate highway system could come in handy in terms of ensuring a country’s defence, although the system inevitably benefited the country’s tourism and commerce more than mounting a war effort.

Canadian snowbirds who make the long drive to Miami Beach in just three days can thank Dwight D. Eisenhower.
It seems rather astonishing, then, that in a country as geographically vast as ours there is no Eisenhower-equivalent cast in the imagination of Canadians when it comes to the post-Second World War development of highways.

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Matawa First Nations have chance to cash in on Ring of Fire jobs – by Bryan Meadows (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – August 9, 2013)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

The federal government is providing almost $6 million for training Aboriginal people near the Ring of Fire mining camp.
The Skills and Partnership funding will help 260 residents from nine Matawa First Nations get the skills and experience they need to find good quality, high-paying jobs through a mining industry training project run by Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS) in partnership with Noront Resources Ltd. and Confederation College.

Training will be provided for jobs such as heavy equipment operator, underground diamond driller helper, security guard, camp cook and environmental monitor.

The funding announcement was made Thursday at Confederation College by FedNor Minister Greg Rickford. “Our government’s top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity, across the country and right here in Northern Ontario,” said Rickford (C-Kenora).

“By working with organizations such as Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services, we are ensuring that the members of local Aboriginal communities can take full advantage of the opportunities being generated by the rapidly growing mining industry, in particular in the Ring of Fire,” he said.

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Vale mulls hedge tactic – by Reuters and Star Staff (Sudbury Star – August 9, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

As they continue to work on making their nickel operations more efficient, Vale officials say they may adopt hedge-accounting rules to smooth out the impact of currency fluctuations like those that slammed the company’s second-quarter earnings. Chief Executive Murilo Ferreira made the comments Thursday as the company discussed its second quarter results with analysts and reporters.

Under hedge accounting, companies set aside some dollar-denominated export proceeds to compensate for the impact of exchange-rate moves on the local-currency value of debt, spreading currency gains and losses over several years. The practice is allowed under the International Financial Reporting Standards of the IFRS Foundation, the accounting rule-book used by Vale.

As Brazil’s real currency has weakened, companies have seen the local currency value of dollar debts soar and the cost of servicing the debt rise. Staterun oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s largest company by revenue, last month said it had begun to use hedge accounting in May.

“We had a strong financial performance in a challenging environment,” Ferreira said in a conference call with analysts and journalists. “The financial impact of forex does not reflect our true operations.”

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Ontario: The ‘have not’ province – by Peter Andre Globensky (Wawatay News – August 8, 2013)


There is considerable evidence to indicate that the reckless and hell-bent-for-leather policy of developing the Alberta tar sands at all costs has been, in fact, quite costly. Not only to First Nations communities in northern Alberta who live “downstream” from the goo and the guck and the ravaged natural environment, but to the economy of the country – particularly to the economy of Ontario.

The rise in the value of the Canadian petro-dollar, fuelled by escalating oil prices, has made Canadian exports much more expensive for foreign buyers to purchase. The result: a too-rapid decline in Ontario’s manufacturing sector and an attendant decrease in commercial and industrial taxes have helped reduce Ontario to a “have not” province.

It is now a recipient of transfer payments from the federal government when once it was a contributor of those payments to other provinces. At one time not so long ago, Ontario had a well-earned reputation for playing a leadership role in the Canadian federation – being the mediator between the federal government and the other provinces who always seemed to have squabbling with each other and the feds as a favoured pastime. However, no longer can it claim that high ground.

What is even more disturbing, however, is how far Ontario has fallen behind other, more progressive Canadian jurisdictions in recognizing the need for and actively promoting a constructive dialogue around resource development and revenue sharing with First Nation communities. In that way as well, Ontario has become a “have not” province.

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[Timmins] City to collect own data on open pit – by Benjamin Aubé (Timmins Daily Press – August 8, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – It’s another sign that the Hollinger Mine will soon be coming back to life, courtesy of Goldcorp/Porcupine Gold Mines.

As Timmins residents well know, with renewed activity at the historic gold mine will come daily blasts and the bustle of trucking and transporting its precious resources.

A big part of the success of the Hollinger open-pit project will depend on the company keeping noise, vibrations, dust levels and emissions to a minimum so as not to disturb the properties and daily lives of neighbouring residents.

Timmins city council ensured measures will be taken to monitor such levels, entering into an eight-year agreement with Aercoustics. The contract will give the city its own set of information regarding the mine’s activities.

“They will provide us with our own monitoring equipment so we can compare that information to the information collected by Goldcorp,” explained city head of public works and engineering Luc Duval.

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Modest growth forecast for Sudbury – by Laura Shantora Nelles (Sudbury Star – August 8, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Greater Sudbury’s economy is set to grow this year by a modest 1.2%, and the city can expect slow but steady growth over the next five years, a Conference Board of Canada report said Wednesday.

In its five-year forecast, the Conference Board predicted Sudbury’s unemployment rate will dip to 5.7% in 2017. In June, the unemployment rate was 7.5%. Conference Board economist Jane McIntrye said increased production in mining and non-residential construction sectors will help boost growth in Greater Sudbury.

“The opening of the Clarabelle and Totten mines, as well as the water sports centre and the addition to Dynamic Earth, (along with) road construction and those type of projects, will contribute to growth on the non-residential side.”

The board said housing will begin to pick up next year. Sudbury’s residential housing starts were down 9.9% in 2012 from 2011, due to a steady decrease in population over the last five years.

McIntyre said the city’s population is expected to remain about the same, which should help get the housing market back on track next year.

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Calls for spring bear hunt resume – by Bryan Meadows (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – August 8, 2013)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

A Thunder Bay-based conservation group is calling for a return of the spring bear hunt after a city man was attacked by a black bear in Sandbar Provincial Park on the weekend.

The Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen’s Alliance says that hunting bears in the spring would help the animals develop a greater fear of humans, and not consider them as food.

Executive director John Kaplanis said Wednesday that “NOSA is extremely worried that while the Ministry of Natural Resources is well aware of the increase in aggressive bear activity and predatory type bear attacks on humans, little is being done to regulate this sort of bear behaviour.

“The concern is that black bears are learning to regard humans as prey, much the same as other vulnerable prey sources such as moose calves,” he said.

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Sudbury PC candidate backs mine safety call (Sudbury Star – August 8, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The Progressive Conservative candidate for Sudbury said Wednesday she supports a call for a public inquiry into mine safety in Ontario. In a release, Paula Peroni said she can relate to the issue in a very personal way. “My father worked for Inco (now Vale) and was very severely injured in 1978, which almost cost him his life,” Peroni said.

She criticized the governing Liberals, who have refused to call an inquiry, despite pressure from the Steelworkers union and a Sudbury-based lobby groups, MINES — Mining Inquiry Needs Ever yone’s Support.

The Steelworkers have been calling for an inquiry since the deaths of two Sudbury miners, Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, at Vale’s Stobie Mine, in 2011. They were killed when they were buried by tonnes of rock and water.

A Steelworkers investigation concluded the deaths could have been prevented. Local 6500 of the Steelworkers represent production workers at Vale’s Sudbury operations.

Vale is facing nine charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and one of its supervisors is facing six charges under the act after a Labour ministry investigation into the deaths.

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Ring of Fire minister in town Aug. 16 – by Darren MacDonald (Sudbury Northern Life – August 07, 2013)


The new man in charge of FedNor and the Ring of Fire portfolio is making his first trip as a cabinet minister to Sudbury next week. Kenora MP Greg Rickford was appointed to the posts when Prime Minister Stephen Harper shuffled his cabinet last month. He replaced longtime FedNor Minister Tony Clement.

Rickford will speak at the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce’s President’s Series Luncheon, which runs noon to 2 p.m. at Bryston’s on the Park in Copper Cliff. Jonathan Laderoute, the chamber’s policy and communications manger, said Rickford’s office hasn’t revealed many details of what the minister wants to talk about.

“But it goes without saying he’s going to talk about the Ring of Fire and how that impacts the province and the country as a whole,” Laderoute said. “But other than that, they’re playing their cards pretty close to their chest. We’ll have to wait and see.”

The Ring of Fire is a massive chromite discovery in northwestern Ontario, much of which is owned by Cliffs Natural Resources. The U.S.-based company announced last year that it would build a smelter near Capreol to process the ore, but problems coming to an agreement with the province over hydro rates and reaching deals with local First Nations led Cliffs to put those plans on hold.

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