Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

NEWS RELEASE: Ring of Fire – Indigenous, municipal and business representatives support Federal Regional Impact Assessment of all access routes (March 6, 2020)

(Ontario Legislature, Toronto, March 2, 2020) Today, indigenous, municipal and business representatives from North-Western Ontario were at the Ontario Legislature to advocate consideration of all access routes to the Ring of Fire chromite deposit. The East-West Ring of Fire Road Coalition outlined their support for an Environmental Assessment (EA) of all access road alternatives, including one starting in their area.

The Coalition is supportive of the federal government’s recent announcement to initiate a Regional EA process. The Prospectors and Developers Conference (PDAC) in Toronto provides the opportunity to remind federal and provincial Ministers of the Environment of the importance of the undertaking as well as potential implications for land use, the region’s economy, culture and indigenous rights.

The Mayor of Sioux Lookout Doug Lawrance outlined the details of July 2019 correspondence between the Coalition and (then) Federal Minster of Environment Catherine McKenna and current Ontario Minister of Environment Jeff Yurek. “Our request was that all access routes to the Ring of Fire be considered.” Lawrance went on to say, “We are pleased to see the announcement of the Federal Regional EA process – and are here today to remind both senior levels government of the importance of considering all routes.” Continue Reading →

Rickford won’t stand for delays on delivering Ring of Fire infrastructure – by Ian Ross (March 6, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Queen’s Park pledges to work with Ottawa on advancing Far North development

Greg Rickford rejects any suggestion that the Ring of Fire might turn into Ontario’s version of Teck Frontier. “We build corridors, not mines,” answered Ontario’s Energy, Northern Development and Mines Minister, in an interview after his March 5 speech at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce lunchtime crowd. The minister was in town to outline his government’s accomplishments at the 18-month mark.

Rickford, who also serves as minister of Indigenous affairs, said the province’s focus is on building “legacy infrastructure” that improves the health, social well-being and the economies of First Nation communities, and creating the conditions for business and industry to thrive.

Teck Resources’ decision to withdraw from its Frontier oilsands mine proposal in February, after weeks of blockades in Alberta and prior to a federal decision on the $20-billion project, was attributed to the jurisdictional uncertainty in balancing resource development with climate change and Indigenous rights. Continue Reading →

Liberals ‘paved the path’ for Premier Ford’s Ring of Fire deal: Wynne – by Colin D”mello (CTV News – March 4, 2020)

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/

QUEEN’S PARK — Former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says the previous Liberal government “paved the path” for Premier Doug Ford’s newly announced road to the Ring of Fire region, and suggests the Progressive Conservatives should “recognize” the work of their predecessors.

In an interview with CTV News Toronto Wynne said the former Liberal government spent two years negotiating a framework agreement with three First Nations to build an all-season access road that would help unlock development in the resource-rich area, and suggested that the Ford government piggybacked off the relationship.

“I don’t begrudge the government coming to the next stage of an agreement,” Wynne said. “The fact is that the only reason he was able to get that agreement is because for two years we worked with all nine First Nations, we had difficult conversations, we wrangled things out and we came to a framework agreement.” Continue Reading →

Fort Albany ‘alarmed’ by Ring of Fire roads deal – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily News – March 3, 2020)

https://www.timminspress.com/

Chief says agreement made ‘behind the scenes’ without his community’s consent

The chief of Fort Albany First Nation says he was “alarmed” by an announcement made Monday by the Ontario provincial government.

Premier Doug Ford along with Indigenous Relations Minister Greg Rickford announced a partnership with Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation to develop a Northern Road Link that would create the first continuous all-season road from the provincial highway network to the Ring of Fire.

Fort Albany Chief Leo Metatawabin said under this agreement, the road would be constructed through his First Nation’s traditional territory without his community’s consent. Continue Reading →

Doug Ford cites unproven projections in touting Ring of Fire – by Jeff Gray (Globe and Mail – March 4, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says mining in the remote Ring of Fire region would add $9.4-billion to the province’s gross domestic product – just a day after saying his government had no reliable estimate of the mineral riches in the northern area.

Speaking in the legislature on Tuesday, Mr. Ford said development in the Ring of Fire would also create 5,500 jobs a year, $6.2-billion “for the mining industry” and $2-billion in government revenue.

His numbers appeared to be drawn from a 2014 Ontario Chamber of Commerce study that looked at the Ring of Fire’s potential economic impacts over 10 years and assumed that four massive projects to mine chromite – which is used to make stainless steel – would be built and operated at a profit. Continue Reading →

Ontario government supports north-south Ring of Fire link – by Gary Rinne (tbnewswatch.com – March 2, 2020)

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/

First Nations, however, are divided over the proposed “Northern Road Link.”

TORONTO — The provincial government is throwing its support behind a north-south link to the Ring of Fire mineral zone in northwestern Ontario. But its plan is already under sharp criticism from one First Nation, which insists there can be no construction without its permission.

Premier Doug Ford and Northern Development and Mines Ministers Greg Rickford on Monday announced a partnership to develop the road project with Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations.

They held a signing ceremony at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention with Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum and Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse. Continue Reading →

Doug Ford still chasing Ring of Fire mining dream – by Alastair Sharp (National Observer – March 4, 2020)

https://www.nationalobserver.com/

Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives are doggedly pursuing the dream of developing the Ring of Fire mining region in northern Ontario, despite a shaky economic foundation and likely tricky talks ahead with nearby First Nations.

Ford and his energy minister, Greg Rickford, were joined by the elected chiefs of two of those communities at the annual PDAC mining conference in Toronto this week. They were there to tout an agreement that will see those communities — the Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations — lead the environmental assessment for the middle part of a planned north-south road to connect the largely inaccessible region to highways further south.

“It’s historic news that is a real game changer,” said Ford, calling the agreement “a crucial step forward in unlocking the multi, and I say, multi-billion dollar opportunity that is northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire.” Continue Reading →

Column: Historic Ontario road agreement puts First Nations in driver’s seat – by Brian Lilley (Sudbury Star – March 3, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

It’s been labelled a historic agreement, an actual memorandum of understanding, a commitment of funds and the launch of an indigenous-led environmental assessment to build a road into one of the most remote parts of Ontario. Premier Doug Ford signed the agreement alongside Chief Bruce Achneepineskum and Chief Cornelius Wabasse in Toronto on Monday.

The agreement will see the Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations lead an environmental assessment of the proposed building of a year-round, paved road linking the two communities to points further south.

It’s a brave move these days when people in cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver — far from the development — can hold protests to shut down major infrastructure while claiming they are standing in solidarity with First Nations. Continue Reading →

Province, First Nations sign critical road agreement – by Staff (Sudbury Star – March 3, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

It will help open up the Ring of Fire to development

The province says it is moving forward on the Ring of Fire. The government of Ontario, Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation took a major step forward Monday in unlocking jobs and opportunity in the Ring of Fire region by entering into what they called a historic agreement to advance the planning and development of a proposed road to the site.

The 5,000-square-kilometre Ring of Fire is a major mineral deposit in Northern Ontario approximately 500 km northeast of Thunder Bay. Currently, there are no roads to the area, rendering access to the site and transportation of goods difficult. Estimates “suggest multi-generational potential for chromite production, as well as the production of nickel, copper and platinum,” the government said Monday.

Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation and Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation joined Premier Doug Ford and Greg Rickford, minister of energy, northern development and mines and the minister of Indigenous affairs, at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention for a signing ceremony. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: MATAWA FIRST NATIONS FORGE NEW WAY FORWARD LOOKING TO MAJOR COMPANIES TO ASSIST IN CONTROLLING DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE (March 2, 2020)

[Toronto, ON:] – Chiefs of the Matawa First Nations in Northern Ontario announced Monday they are creating a New Way Forward in developing community infrastructure in their traditional territory. Discussions are ongoing with PCL Construction, Enterprise Canada, Ontario Power Generation and EPCOR Canada to determine how best to meet the infrastructure needs in Matawa communities.

Matawa First Nations will play a lead role in developing Northern infrastructure and guiding the Emerging Northern Economy. Through new relationships with leading Canadian companies, an innovative new approach to financing and managing the construction the needs of these communities can be defined for Matawa communities who have long waited for crucial infrastructure that will bring their people the stability and hope that they deserve.

The announcement at PDAC 2020 in Toronto is the result of months of work looking at the control of development in the Matawa region while also preparing for future development needs. Matawa and these partner companies are discussing the creation of a corporation to oversee construction and financing of infrastructure across the region. Continue Reading →

Ontario, First Nations agree to study road to Ring of Fire – by Jeff Gray and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 2, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Ontario Premier Doug Ford sat alongside two First Nations chiefs at a Toronto mining conference on Monday, pledging support for an environmental study of a road that would connect to their remote Northern communities and the region known as the Ring of Fire.

Mr. Ford has repeatedly promised to open up the purported mineral riches of the Ring of Fire, 550 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, by hopping on a bulldozer himself. But Monday’s announcement included no cash for the road, last estimated to cost $1.6-billion – only a pledge to study it.

Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford also acknowledged that any move to break ground on the construction of the road’s southernmost leg is still as much as two years away. Environmental assessments for the entire route, he said, would take five years to complete. Continue Reading →

The road to the Ring of Fire needs to go east-west, say northwest communities – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 2, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Road coalition wants Queen’s Park to consider “all access routes” into Far North mineral camp

A forgotten path into the Ring of Fire still remains on the radar for a group of northwestern Ontario community leaders and businesses. The East-West Ring of Fire Coalition went to Queen’s Park during mining week in Toronto to lobby government for support of a permanent road into the Ring of Fire.

The group claims an east-west route will deliver greater spinoffs and social benefits to area communities, compared to the north-south road being championed by the provincial government and the mining industry.

It’s the second consecutive year the group has journeyed to Toronto during the Prospectors and Developers mining conference to make their case for government to consider a less-environmentally invasive alternate route into the James Bay mineral belt. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Moving Forward with Road Access to the Ring of Fire (March 2, 2020)

Ontario and First Nations Working Together to Create Jobs and Prosperity for the North

March 2, 2020 12:30 P.M. – Office of the Premier

TORONTO — The Government of Ontario, Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation are taking a major step forward in unlocking jobs and opportunity in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire region by entering into a historic agreement to advance the planning and development of a proposed Northern Road Link.

Premier Doug Ford and Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, were joined by Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation and Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention today for a signing ceremony.

The government is delivering on its promise to move forward with the development of the Ring of Fire with willing partners, including Indigenous groups and Northern communities. Continue Reading →

Hasty development of Ontario’s Ring of Fire could have devastating impacts – by Justina Ray and Cheryl Chetkiewicz (Toronto Star – February 26, 2020)

https://www.thestar.com/

Dr. Justina Ray and Dr. Cheryl Chetkiewicz are scientists with Wildlife Conservation Society Canada who have worked in the far north in Ontario 25 years collectively.

The current wave of protests in support of the Wet’suwet’en is about respecting Indigenous rights, but also about responsibility — our collective responsibility to protect increasingly endangered ecosystems and some of Canada’s most intact natural areas.

Failing to consider the value of such areas — for people, for biodiversity, and for our climate — before making development decisions is increasingly leading to conflict.

We are on the cusp of a similar situation in Ontario, where plans to build roads to the Ring of Fire in the far north are being pursued in a way that similarly ignores the big picture. Continue Reading →

The thin white line: How Northern Ontario’s winter roads are built and kept safe to drive – by Marcus Gee (Globe and Mail – February 24, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Roy Moonias stands on a rise overlooking a frozen lake bathed in wintry moonlight. In the distance, the headlights of a big fuel truck appear. “It’s coming,” he shouts, holding up his phone to shoot some video.

Mr. Moonias has a professional interest in the truck’s progress: His men built the road it is travelling on. Open for only a few weeks a year, the winter road to his remote Indigenous community passes over muskeg, swamps, eskers, creeks and, finally, this lake. His crew has been striving since November to get it ready: Plowing, smoothing, flooding and clearing fallen timber until everything is just right, or as right as it can be on a road constructed of ice and snow on a foundation of muck.

Now, the road is set for its big test. Snowplows have cleared the ice on the lake, leaving a wide corridor lined by snowbanks that stretches a kilometre and a half from shore to shore. Crews have set up log posts fixed with reflectors to mark the way. Continue Reading →