Ring of Fire Updates Weekly News Roundup

September 1-7, 2019 : Weekly News Roundup

The text "What's the Media Saying? Ring of Fire News Round-Up, September 1-7 2019", overlaid on top of a photo of the Attawapiskat River as a storm approaches.

One week following Minister of Energy Greg Rickford’s announcement of the official end to the regional framework agreements between the province and the Matawa first nations, citing the government’s preference to negotiate bilaterally with individual communities, Eabamatoong and Neskantaga call this move a “divide and conquer” approach to negotiation. According to Chief Elizabeth Atlookan, the regional framework began to fall apart following the previous Wynne government’s announcements in August, 2017, of separate all-weather roads deals, with Marten Falls, Webequie and Nibinamik. Ginoogaming and Long Lake 58 are willing to enter into talks with Ontario regarding business opportunities and revenue sharing whereas Eabamatoong, Neskantaga and Constance Lake want talks to continue. Meanwhile, Norton announces the issuance of 300,000 shares to Martin Falls as part of a Project Advancement Agreement signed in 2017, and 150,000 to Aroland First Nations, pursuant to an Memorandum of Understanding with Noront which entered into force on June 2, 2019.

September 1st, 2019 (The Chronicle Journal):

Ring of Fire negotiation model has failed: Editorial

“This time nine years ago the potential of the Ring of Fire mineral belt in Northwestern Ontario was being realized. More than 30 mining exploration companies were digging around the James Bay lowlands and finding immense evidence of mineral deposits, chiefly chromite — the main ingredient in stainless steel. People salivated over the economic impact and potential job creation. Then-premier Dalton McGuinty called the project key to Ontario economic recovery. His northern development minister, Thunder Bay’s Michael Gravelle, began the first of many meetings with First Nations in the region. […] Fast forward to 2017. How things changed!” Read more here…

September 3, 2019 (Net News Ledger):

Noront Resources announces share issuance to Marten Falls and Aroland First Nations

“Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront” or the “Company”) announces the issuance of 300,000 shares to Marten Falls First Nation and 150,000 shares to Aroland First Nation.  The share issuance was under the terms of a Project Advancement Agreement with Marten Falls First Nation originally entered into by the Company on April 12th, 2017 and as amended on July 9th, 2019 and under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding with Aroland First Nation entered into by the Company on June 6, 2019.  The shares were delivered on August 20th, 2019 are subject to a four-month holding period, expiring on December 21, 2019.” Read more here…

September 3, 2019 (TVO):

The Tories are dissolving the Ring of Fire agreement. So what comes next?

TVO.org speaks with people close to the issue about why it’s proved so divisive – and what the future may hold for Indigenous-government relations in the north

“Greg Rickford, Ontario’s minister of northern development, mines and energy, and Indigenous affairs, last week issued a 90-day notice to Matawa chiefs that the province is dissolving the Ring of Fire regional-framework agreement. “Frankly, to this point, it’s been a little complicated and lengthy,” Rickford told reporters in Sault Ste. Marie. “It has not necessarily met the timelines that the market should expect a project to come on board.” Read more here…

September 4, 2019 (My North Bay Now):

‘True partnerships’ forming along Ring of Fire route

“After years of inaction, it looks like the wheels have been set in motion by the Ontario Government to finally get the Ring of Fire development off the ground. “We have now announced that we are looking at each First Nations independently and making bilateral deals with each of them,” Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli stated. “I think it is a very exciting opportunity for having many of the First Nations along the proposed route of the Ring of Fire transportation corridor involved in the environmental assessment.” Read more here…

September 6, 2019 (Anishnabek News):

Recent Community Leader meeting opportunity to address lack of political attention in Northern Ontario

“Provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath met with a group of community leaders, including Municipality of Shuniah Mayor Wendy Landry and Fort William First Nation Councillors Tannis Kastern and Sheldon Bannon, during a Community Leaders’ Luncheon on Aug. 29 in Thunder Bay. The luncheon was held on the final day of the Aug. 27-29 NDP caucus meeting of about 40 NDP MPPs at Delta Hotels Thunder Bay.” Read more here…

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