Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

NISHNAWBE ASKI NATION (NAN) CONTINUES TO BE IGNORED BY THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT REGARDING BILL 191 (The Far North Act) – September 17, 2010

THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy stated today that First Nations in the Far North, and their obvious opposition to Bill 191, continues to be ignored by the Provincial Government. This, following the decision by the Ontario Legislature Thursday, to hear Third Reading of Bill 191 despite loud protest and calls for abolishment from Northern Ontario.

“The voices of First Nations people in Northern Ontario continue to fall on deaf ears,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. “The Premier of Ontario has failed to honor his promise to NAN First Nations that Bill 191 would not become legislation without our support. In yesterday’s Question Period, Premier McGuinty could not answer as to whether he intended to keep his word. It is obvious that his words mean very little and his promises even less.”

Since Bill 191 was first introduced in June 2009, Nishnawbe Aski people have maintained their united position that it does not respect Aboriginal and Treaty Rights nor’ the inherent rights of First Nations. NAN First Nations have not been properly consulted on Bill 191, despite the Ontario Government’s attempts to publicize otherwise, and have strong concerns regarding the proposed legislation including the 225,000 square kilometers of boreal forest that will be protected in Northern Ontario – leaving minimal opportunity for economic growth.

“If Bill 191 passes Third Reading, we will not recognize the legislation,” said Beardy. “Through the Treaty making process we are recognized as a nation under International Law. When we made Treaty with the British Crown, we never gave up the right to govern ourselves or our custodial rights to the land. We will never give up our rights. We have put the Province on notice that if this Bill passes, there will be conflict and no certainty for developments of any kind in the North.”

NAN leadership, community members and supporters staged a two-day rally at Queen’s Park this week demanding the Ontario Government withdraw Bill 191. Attendance at the Standing Committee on General Governance meeting, saw NAN Chiefs and membership walk out en masse proclaiming that the Ontario Government “should be ashamed of themselves,” for continuing to ignore the North and the rights of First Nations people when the committee agreed by vote to submit amendments on the Bill. On Thursday, the group marched out of Question Period when Premier McGuinty could not answer to his own promise of a year ago.

 Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) is a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty 9 and Ontario portions of Treaty 5 – an area covering two thirds of the province of Ontario.

For more information please contact Amy Harris, Media Relations Officer – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625 4906 or (807) 252-2806 mobile or by email [email protected].

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) RELEASES STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF THIRD READING OF BILL 191 – THE FAR NORTH ACT – September 23, 2010

THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Mike Metatawabin issued the following statement on behalf of the NAN Executive Council, Tribal Councils and NAN First Nations following the passing of Third Reading of Bill 191 – The Far North Act in the Ontario Legislature today.

“The passing of Bill 191 today indeed shows how little regard the McGuinty Government gives to the concerns of First Nations and other Northern Ontarians when it comes to decision making,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Mike Metatawabin. “It is a disappointing day for all of us who spent tireless hours opposing Bill 191 as our opposition was obviously ignored. As we have stated time and time again, NAN First Nations and Tribal Councils do not and will not recognize this legislation on our homelands. We will continue to uphold our Aboriginal and Treaty rights and jurisdiction over our land. The real fight is just beginning.”

Bill 191 – The Far North Act passed Third Reading in the Ontario Legislature today with a vote of 46-26.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) is a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty 9 and Ontario portions of Treaty 5 – an area covering two thirds of the province of Ontario.

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak News Release – Ontario PCs Put Forward Motion to Stop Dalton McGuinty From Reneging on Northern Ontario [Far North Act]- September 13th, 2010

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak and PC Critic for Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, MPP Randy Hillier, today demanded that the McGuinty Government finally listen to northern families about the devastating impact Bill 191 will have on jobs and investment in Northern Ontario.

Today, the Ontario PC Caucus put forward a motion to demand that the McGuinty Government listen to northerners on the damage this bad Bill will do to the northern economy. In June, Dalton McGuinty reneged on legislatively required northern consultations for Bill 191, The Far North Act, which is opposed by northern First Nations, municipalities and industries alike. Bill 191 is scheduled to come up for final reading on Thursday.

Bill 191 will choke off 50 per cent of northern Ontario from future economic development at a time when northern Ontario families need new jobs and investment. Hudak renewed his commitment that a future PC Government will repeal Bill 191 should the McGuinty Government ram through the legislation as written.

Quotes

“Bill 191 has been rammed through the Legislature with no consultation or accountability for those whose lives and livelihoods it will change forever. If Dalton McGuinty passes this damaging Bill without substantial changes, a Tim Hudak led Ontario PC Government will repeal it.”
–Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak

Continue Reading →

Ontario Chamber of Commerce Far North Act Submission to the Minister of Natural Resources Linda Jeffrey

This submission was signed by Len Crispino, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on September 10, 2010.

Certainly, the “Ring of Fire” project will foster considerable long-term economic growth for Ontario as a whole and Northern Ontario in particular. It is fair to say that such a project may have never been discovered had the [Far North] Act already been in place years ago, because the land use planning process may have delayed, or even ultimately stopped the Ring of Fire opportunity from ever being discovered and/or explored. – Len Crispino, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Dear Minister:

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is a federation of 160 local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in the Province of Ontario, representing 60,000 businesses of all sizes, in all economic sectors and from every area of the province. The OCC’s madate is to advocate strong policies on issues that affect its membership throughout Ontario’s business community.

The OCC welcomes legislation which provides for economic renewal and opportunity and ensures a competitive business climate in Ontario.

While addressing economic renewal, the OCC wishes to provide input on Bill 191. The Far North Act is currently in the Standing Committee for General Government for review and nearing Third Reading.

The Government of Ontario has annouced that Bill 191 will set aside at least 225,000 square kilometers of the far north in an interconnected network of protected areas, by means of community based land use planning. This Act states that it aims to provide for community based land use planning in the Far North that directly involves First Nations in the planning and that supports the environmental, social and economic objectives for land use planning for the people of Ontario located there.

Continue Reading →

Ontario Chamber of Commerce News Release – OCC Calls for Withdrawal of Far North Act – September 13th, 2010

Business Advocacy, Other Issues
 
The Government of Ontario’s Bill 191, The Far North Act, twill set aside at least 225,000 square kilometers of the far north in an interconnected network of protected areas, by means of community based land use planning. This Act states that it aims to provide for community based land use planning in the Far North that directly involves First Nations in the planning and that supports the environmental, social and economic objectives for land use planning for the people of Ontario located there.

While the OCC is strongly supportive of environmental protection, there are concerns that the Act could delay or prevent effective development of the region. The Act has the potential to paralyze future developments in Ontario’s far north, and hinder new opportunities for economic development that could lead to future growth opportunities and economic renewal for Ontario.

For more information, please contact Frank Belluardo, Policy Analyst, at [email protected] or 416-482-5222 x 247.

Continue Reading →

Liberal Government News Release – September 23, 2010 – Far North Act Passes – McGuinty Government Committed To Economic Development And Environmental Protection

NEWS
 
Ontario has made significant strides in economic development and environmental protection in the Far North with the passage of the Far North Act, 2010.

A first in Ontario history, First Nations’ approval of land use plans is now required by law. First Nations communities will identify and approve the areas in the Far North that require protection as well as those areas suitable for economic development. 

These land use plans are key to develop the Far North, including the region known as the ‘Ring of Fire’ which contains one of the World’s largest deposits of chromite – a key ingredient in stainless steel and an economic opportunity for Far North communities.

The act provides a foundation for First Nations and Ontario to work together as partners on land use planning in the Far North as part of the Open Ontario plan to support the region’s economy and environment.

Continue Reading →

Finance minister compares Far North Act to creation of Algonquin Park – by Nick Stewart

This article was originally posted September 29, 2010 on the website of Northern Ontario Business. 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.

Last week’s passage of the highly controversial Far North Act was likened to the creation of a provincial park by Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, following a presentation to the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 27.

“It’s all about how we develop the mix of development moving forward and how we make sure that, as we enhance our ability to grow the North, we also enhance our ability to preserve that part which will have enormous appeal in the future,” said Duncan to Northern Ontario Business in an interview following his speech.

“In 1895, (then-Premier) Oliver Mowat created Algonquin Park over a whole lot of objection at the time, and it still remains an enormous tourism magnet. So it’s about finding balance, and we’ll continue to work with communities across the North to get the right balance, and I’m glad we’re having a debate because we needed to have it.”

The act, passed last week in the provincial legislature with a vote of 46-26, dictates the setting aside of 225,000 square kilometres of the region as “protected areas.”

Continue Reading →

Go North, to Find Ontario’s Next Economic Boom in the Ring of Fire Mining Development – by Livio Di Matteo

Livio Di Matteo is professor of economics at Lakehead University. This column was originally published in January, 2010.

While it is simplistic to believe that history repeats itself, economic history is shaped by cyclical demographic and economic factors. Ontario’s economy, despite its current lethargy, is poised for a boom reminiscent of what shaped the province at the dawn of the 20th century.

During the late 19th century, Ontario’s economy was laid low by a global economic slump. Between 1891 and 1901, Ontario’s population growth crawled to a virtual halt and out-migration of its young people to the United States became a chronic lament.

Ontario’s economy was saved during the early 20th century by two booms
that fuelled its manufacturing sector’s growth and ensured that Toronto
became the financial centre of Canada.

Ontario’s economy was saved during the early 20th century by two booms that fuelled its manufacturing sector’s growth and ensured that Toronto became the financial centre of Canada. The first, the prairie settlement boom, saw hundreds of thousands of European settlers flock to the Prairies and form a market for consumer goods produced by central Canadian industry. The second was the forestry and mining resource boom of Ontario’s northern frontier, which generated inputs into southern Ontario industry, created Toronto’s role as a financial centre and created a lucrative source of provincial government revenue via enormous resource rents and royalties.

Continue Reading →

“[Ontario’s] Far North Act: Blueprint for the future?” – Toronto Star September 24, 2010 Editorial Comment on McGuinty Liberal’s “Far North Bill”

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This editorial was originally published on September 24, 2010.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

By detailing illegal airstrips and abuse of the claims system by mining companies, the annual report of Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller made a compelling case this week for stronger legislation to control northern development.

As if on cue, then, on Thursday the Ontario Legislature passed the Far North Act, despite opposition from the Conservatives and New Democrats. The act preserves half the region — an area about the size of Great Britain — and seeks to develop the rest sensibly with land use plans subject to approval by local First Nations.

But Miller’s report also serves as a warning that the government’s work is far from finished. “This government rightly prides itself on progress it has made in passing legislation to protect the environment, but actions on the ground often undermine it,” he said.

There are the illegal airstrips, for example; the government has shut down two already. And there is the grandfathering of ever more land for mining uses before local communities have had a say.

The government ought not to allow this to continue. Now that the Far North Act has been passed, Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey should immediately turn her attention to ensuring that local communities have the resources they need to approve comprehensive land use plans as quickly as possible.

The act provides the necessary tools to reconcile three competing interests in our north: the environment, resource industries and First Nations. But it is the actions on the ground now that will determine whether the spirit of the act is carried out.

Liberals push through Far North bill despite First Nations outcry – by Tanya Talaga (Toronto Star-September 24, 2010)

Tanya Talaga is the Queen’s Park (Ontario Provincial Government) reporter for the Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This article was originally published September 24, 2010.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Liberals push through Far North bill despite First Nations outcry

A controversial bill aimed at protecting 225,000 square kilometres in northern Ontario and opening the rest up to development passed Thursday despite fierce First Nations objections. The provincial Liberals argue Bill 191 is a “first in Ontario’s history,” because it calls for First Nations’ approval of land-use plans.

Until now, there were essentially no rules, the government says. But natives say their approval is ultimately meaningless because the government has the power to override their land use decisions. And that, they say, is a violation of their treaty rights.

Many who live and work in the North – from the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce to the Ontario Forestry Association and Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) – say the bill will slow down mining and resource development. The Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political organization that represents the 49 First Nations that cover two-thirds of the province’s land mass.

However, land-use plans are needed to guide economic development, said Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey. For instance, Jeffrey told reporters, Bill 191 is key to establishing rules to manage development in the resource-rich region known as the Ring of Fire.

Continue Reading →

Enviro-Babble Threatens Ontario – by Toronto Sun Columnist Christina Blizzard (Originally Published September 22, 2010)

Christina Blizzard is the Queen’s Park columnist for the Toronto Sun, the city’s daily tabloid newspaper.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Commissioner’s annual report highlights how no one can, or should, live up to eco lobby’s standards

It’s pathetic the way we cling slavishly to every utterance of the eco lobby. When the Great Green Gods speak, we all nod our heads like so many Bobblehead dolls.

So it was Wednesday, when Environment Commissioner Gord Miller released his annual report. The problem with self-styled enviro gurus is no government, anywhere, can live up to their standards.

No matter what the government does, it will be slammed for not doing enough. Miller warned there aren’t enough controls over the siting of gas-powered generation plants.

Northern Ontario is “on the verge” of becoming the Wild West — or Wild North, I guess — with mining companies building airstrips and rail lines willy-nilly.

Except, hold on. There’s a flip side.

Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire Mining Practices Under Attack by Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

The following excerpts are from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s 2009/2010 Annual Report Redefining Conservation

Business News Network Anchor Reporter Andrew Bell interviews Ontario’s Environmental Comissioner Gord Miller (September 22, 2010) about the government’s conflicting goals of protecting half of the boreal forest while encouraging mine development in the red hot Ring of Fire in Northwestern Ontario: http://watch.bnn.ca/commodities/september-2010/commodities-september-22-2010/#clip351264

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

5.1.2. Ring of Fire: Illegal Construction of Mining-related Projects

The Ring of Fire is a roughly 5,120 square kilometre crescent-shaped area of Ontario’s boreal forest that has been subject to intense claim staking, prospecting and exploration ever since copper and zinc were discovered in the area in the late 1990s. After a flurry of exploration activity, the area is now known also to contain nickel, gold, diamonds and potentially the single largest source of chromite in North America. Interest in chromite is extremely high as it is used to make stainless steel. Chromite is also a strategic mineral used in the production of missile components and armour plating. A U.S. mining company reportedly intends to invest approximately $800 million (US) to develop a large open pit mine to extract high-grade chromite near McFauld’s Lake in the Ring of Fire. In March 2010, the Premier noted that this find is the “most promising mining opportunity in Canada in a century.”

In September 2009, a company submitted an application to MNR seeking approval to construct a mining camp and permanent airstrip 18 km west of McFauld’s Lake. The proponent sought permission to develop 81 hectares of Crown land to build an 1,830-metre airstrip, four helicopter pads, a fuelling area, storage facilities and staff accommodations. The key approvals process for this proposed project is the Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) for MNR Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects. Under this approvals process, the proposal was evaluated as a “category B” project in which there is the “potential for low to medium negative environmental effects, and/or public or agency concern.”

Several days after the Class EA process began, MNR staff flew over the site to inspect it. To their surprise, the proponent had already cleared the forest and constructed the mining work camp and airstrip, which appeared to be in active use. MNR halted the Class EA process and issued a warrant under the Public Lands Act to stop the unauthorized occupation and use of Crown land. MNR then began investigating whether any other laws had been broken.

Continue Reading →

Part Five of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Annual Report 2009/2010 – Modernizing Mining in Ontario

For the entire annual report go to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario website: Redefining Conservation: Annual Report 2009/2010

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

2010 Amendments to the Mining Act

From Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) Issues

In the 1800s, miners used picks and shovels to find and extract minerals. Embarking out into the wilderness of Ontario, prospectors had “free entry” to access any land that contained Crown-owned minerals. They could stake their claims with wooden posts and acquire mineral leases with no need to consider the interests of property owners or the public. This right of free entry was a fundamental feature of Ontario’s first mining laws and was designed to promote mining activity, create wealth in the province and encourage the settlement of the northern lands.

Much has changed in Ontario since the Mining Act (the “Act”) was enacted in 1869. First, there are many more recognized uses for Ontario’s land than mining. Second, early mines were generally small in scale with a relatively small ecological footprint; modern day mining often involves large-scale and mechanized digging, drilling and blasting, with the potential to have significant environmental impacts. Finally, the public has grown more concerned about our natural environment and the impacts of human activities, expecting environmental risks to be mitigated and mining lands restored.

Although the Mining Act and the concept of free entry may have worked in the 19th century, it is clearly at odds with 21st century land uses and values. Free entry assumes that mineral development is appropriate almost everywhere and that it is the “best” use of Crown land in almost all circumstances, giving mining priority over forestry, commercial development, recreation and tourism, the interests of Aboriginal communities, and the conservation of ecologically significant species and landscape features.

Continue Reading →

Balance in Far North Bill – Toronto Star September 19, 2010 Editorial Comment on McGuinty Liberal’s “Far North Bill”

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This editorial was originally published on September 19, 2010.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Beyond romantic notions of caribou running wild across endless tundra, most Ontarians know very little about the northernmost 40 per cent of our province.

Much of the land is barren and beautiful, but it is also facing increasing pressure for development; logging, mining and power companies all see great potential there. The First Nations, who have long called the region home, need a say in determining the future of the land and an assurance that they will benefit economically from its development.

The province, on the other hand, needs to balance these interests with environmental protections for the northern boreal region, a globally significant ecosystem. The provincial government’s Far North Act, Bill 191, would achieve that balance.

So it is unfortunate that the chiefs of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) territory are threatening that there will be “no peace on the land” if the government passes the bill in the coming days.

Continue Reading →

McGuinty Headed for a Northern [Ontario] Showdown – by Christina Blizzard (Toronto Sun-September 16, 2010)

Christina Blizzard is the Queen’s Park columnist for the Toronto Sun, the city’s daily tabloid newspaper.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

The Liberals’ Far North Act will kill the ‘economic equivalent of another Sudbury’

When mayors, chambers of commerce and aboriginal groups from across the north all converge on Queen’s Park, you know there’s trouble brewing.

That happened Wednesday, as anger over the government’s Far North Act boiled over from the wide landscapes of the north, its boreal forests and mines to the manicured southern lawns of Queen’s Park.

New Democrat Gilles Bisson stormed out of a committee hearing on Bill 191, calling the process a “sham.” He’d asked that the bill not be called for third reading and the government go back to the drawing board.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy, usually a moderate, angrily declared aboriginal people will take “direct action” to protect their rights.

“We will do whatever is necessary to protect our interests, and if that calls for direct action, that’s what’s going to take place,” Beardy said. Continue Reading →