Ring of Fire Updates Weekly News Roundup

October 13-19, 2019 : Weekly News Round-Up

The text "What's the Media Saying? Ring of Fire News Round-Up, October 13-19 2019", overlaid on top of a photo of the Attawapiskat River as a storm approaches.

The number of people opposed to Noront’s proposed ferrochrome smelter in Sault Ste. Marie continues to grow – this week, a group of over 50 Sault Ste. Marie doctors published an op-ed warning the community of potential health consequences from the smelter, and a tribe just south of the border passed a resolution opposing the project. It seems that one of the only people not publicly opposing the smelter is the mayor of Timmins, who still believes that his city has a shot at hosting the facility.

Meanwhile, Doug Ford made an announcement that he will be spending $30M on bringing broadband internet to 5 Matawa communities. This will benefit the communities, and will also contribute some of the infrastructure needed to build mines in the region.

The Tyee also published an in-depth investigative report into Neskantaga First Nations’ quarter-century-long boil water advisory.

October 15, 2019 (The Tyee):

Inside one First Nation’s long water crisis

The Neskantaga have spent almost a quarter century under a boil water order. Will the election bring faster action?

“The Neskantaga First Nation in northwestern Ontario hasn’t had access to safe tap water since 1995. A generation of residents have grown up and begun to raise children of their own under a permanent boil water advisory, despite decades of federal government promises to address the water crisis on reserves. It’s the longest running boil water advisory in Canada, but just one of almost 100 currently in place. Last month, things got worse. The reserve’s water pump and backup pump both broke down and tap water was no longer filtered.” Read more here…

October 16, 2019 (Soo Today):

Sault tribe opposes ferrochrome processing facility

Michigan tribe doesn’t want Noront’s smelter ‘anywhere near the Great Lakes or our traditional homelands’

“The following ferrochrome resolution was passed Tuesday night by Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, at a meeting at Kewadin Casino in the Michigan Sault.” Read more here…

October 18, 2019 (The Daily Press):

Timmins feels door still open for ferrochrome plant

Mayor George Pirie convinced the smelter will eventually be located in Timmins

“Mayor George Pirie remains confident Timmins will ultimately be the location of the ferrochrome processing facility which Noront Resources awarded to Sault Ste. Marie earlier this year. “I still have the same opinion (as he had in May when Noront made it announcement) we’re going to get it,” said Pirie, shortly before Friday’s start of the annual general meeting of the Timmins Economic Development Corporation. “It won’t get built in Sault Ste. Marie. They haven’t done the consultations with the right Indigenous groups. You can see the fact that they don’t have the right area set up for the product and the tailings facilities — we do. And we continue to work on our relationships with the right Indigenous people, and that means the NAN (Nishnawbe Aski Nation) and those in the NAN territory.” Read more here…

October 18, 2019 (TB News Watch):

Ford promises $30M to bring broadband to 5 Matawa communities

Internet access will help remote communities thrive, say Indigenous leaders

“Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum called it a banner day for all five communities. He believes it will lead to economic development and innovation in all five First Nations, which are all tied to closely to the Ring of Fire. “With this development, there will be a need for broadband and I’m pleased that the provincial government sees this as one of the pieces of the puzzle that needs to come together. As you know, mining facility management organizations are looking at using cloud technology, that reliable broadband provides, to develop systems to monitor mining organizations in a remote environment,” Achneepineskum said. Read more here…

October 19, 2019 (Sault Online):

Open letter from doctors on ferrochrome smelter

“Should Sault Ste. Marie have a ferrochrome smelter built in the city? This is a critical question facing our community. A smelter would provide direct economic benefit to several hundred people and to associated businesses. We physicians are very concerned about the risk of contamination of the surrounding environment with chromium VI, a by-product of smelting that is a known cancer-causing agent.” Read more here…

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