News was fairly quiet this week in spite of coming on the heels of a major announcement from the federal government that a Federal impact assessment will be conducted. Ordered in response to requests from three separate parties, this assessment would consider larger cumulative effects of the road and mine projects in a regional context. The assessment has the scope to study potential for adverse effects on areas within federal jurisdiction, such as climate change, fisheries and endangered species; a high likelihood of impacts on the rights of Indigenous people; and considerable public interest related to cumulative effects in the region. Osgoode Hall Law School’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic will assist the federal government in conducting the assessment.
February 19, 2020 (Northern Ontario Business):
Feds start Ring of Fire environmental assessment
Ottawa taking a new region-wide approach to Far North development
Instead of doing a series of one-off individual assessments on the impact of mining and mining-related infrastructure projects, the feds will be carrying out a new and improved Regional Assessment in the Far North mineral belt, which sit 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.
February 19, 2020 (The National Interest):
Canada’s ‘Ring of Fire’ is loaded with mineral deposits but…
The Ring of Fire was discovered in 2007 in a roadless region of Ontario inhabited almost exclusively by Indigenous people
With all eyes on British Columbia as events unfold in Unist’ot’en, the federal minister of environment and climate change has said the agency will establish a major regional assessment process for the Ring of Fire.
February 19, 2020 (CBC):
Federal government orders regional impact assessment in Ring of Fire
Three parties, including the Osgoode Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic, made requests
“The federal minister of environment and climate change has ordered a regional impact assessment in the Ring of Fire, the mineral-rich region around 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont, which is targeted for mining development. Jonathan Wilkinson issued the order in response to requests from three parties: Aroland First Nation, the Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada and the Osgoode Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic. It was issued under Canada’s new Impact Assessment Act, which came into force on Aug. 28, 2019 as part of the government’s overhaul of environmental assessment legislation – which it said was aimed at streamlining the approvals process for natural resource projects and improving consultation with Indigenous peoples.” Read more here…
February 24, 2020 (Law Times News):
Osgoode environmental clinic to help federal government assess proposed mining in northern Ontario
The Ring of Fire assessment aims to ensure that Indigenous peoples in the area enjoy a peaceful way of life
“Osgoode Hall Law School’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic has received the go signal to assist the federal government in assessing the mining and road infrastructure possibilities in the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario. Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, approved the clinic’s request for a regional impact assessment. In a letter addressed to clinic co-director Dayna Scott, Wilkinson added that representatives of the clinic should meet with the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada to discuss the terms of reference for the regional assessment.” Read more here…