Ring of Fire Updates Weekly News Roundup

March 3-9, 2020: Weekly News Roundup

This week was busy following the announcement regarding the Northern Link Road last week. In response, Fort Albany First Nation has announced that they are alarmed by the announcement as they were not included in meetings regarding the proposed project even though the plan will include development on their traditional territory. Also in the news, Noront announces that they are in favour of the announced road development and are working to update their Eagles Nest project and are beginning a preliminary analysis regarding mining at their Black Bird Chromite Mine.

While speaking in Sudbury, Minister Rickford attempted put to rest any concerns that development in the Ring of Fire to be cancelled or seriously delayed despite the fact that he acknowledged the Provincial government was caught unaware when Ottawa ordered a regional assessment of the proposed mining development and NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa took a stand arguing that Indigenous communities have not been properly consulted on planning regarding road development in the area known as the Ring of Fire. In his Sudbury speech, Rickford also announced that the provincial government is committed over $63 million over 5 years to a project providing wireless communications within a working mine, which he says will increase safety for mine workers.

March 3, 2020 (The Sault Star):

Deal inked to plan north-south road to Ring of Fire

“The Ontario government has announced that it has reached an agreement with Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation to plan and developed a Northern Road link that will provide year-round access to the Ring of Fire development.” Read more here…

March 4, 2020 (Timmins Today):

Fort Albany First Nation ‘alarmed’ at plan for Ring of Fire road link

Chief Leo Metatawabin says it raises concerns about free, prior and informed consent.

“A second northern Ontario First Nation is speaking out against the Ford government’s deal with Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations to collaborate on building a road to the Ring of Fire. Chief Leo Metatawabin of Fort Albany First Nation, on the James Bay coast, says the project “could majorly increase” harmful environmental impacts.” Read more here..

March 4, 2020 (CTV News):

Liberals ‘paved the path’ for Premier Ford’s Ring of Fire deal: Wynne

“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.” Read more here…

March 4, 2020 (The Sudbury Star):

That Ring of Fire road? Not so fast, chief says

“The chief of Fort Albany First Nation says he was “alarmed” by an announcement the province and other First Nations would develop a Northern Road Link that would create the first continuous all-season road from the provincial highway network to the Ring of Fire”. Read more here…

March 4, 2020 (Sudbury.com):

Not everybody’s keen on a Ring of Fire road

Fort Albany won’t consent to Northern Link without consultation

“A Cree community on the James Bay coast is “alarmed” by a new agreement signed to initiate the start of planning for the final stretch of the road into the Ring of Fire”. Read more here…

March 5, 2020 (Mining.com):

Ring of Fire: Ontario to move ahead with north-south road

“Ontario premier Doug Ford and Greg Rickford, minister of Northern Development and Mines and Indigenous Affairs were at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention (PDAC) this week to announce a new agreement with two First Nations in the Ring of Fire to plan and develop a north-south road into the remote region”. Read more here…

March 5, 2020 (The Sudbury Star):

Minister promises support for northern Ontario

Greg Rickford speaks to Sudbury’s chamber of commerce

“The Ontario government is showing its support for the mining and mining supply and service sectors in the North with the announcement of a number of projects and investments that will benefit the industry”. Read more here…

March 6, 2020 (Northern Ontario Business):

Rickford won’t stand for delays on delivering Ring of Fire infrastructure

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”. Read more here…

March 6, 2020 (Dryden Now):

Mamakwa questions Ring of Fire plan

“Kiiwetinoong MPP and Indigenous Affairs critic for the NDP, Sol Mamakwa, says Ontario’s Indigenous communities were not properly consulted on the planning of the Ring of Fire access road.” Read more here…

March 7, 2020 (Dryden Now):

‘Reconciliation is dead’, Mamakwa

“Kiiwetinoong MPP and Indigenous Affairs Critic for the NDP, Sol Mamakwa, says reconciliation between Ontario’s Indigenous community and the provincial government is dead. “Ontario’s actions do not mean a lot to people with no clean drinking water, to youth with suicidal thoughts, to the youth that have already died by suicide, to those who don’t have the mental health supports they need in their communities,” he said. “The natural resources that live in our Treaty territories will not be developed, until these issues are reconciled. Reconciliation with Indigenous people in this government isn’t working. Reconciliation in Ontario, in Canada, is dead,” said Mamakwa.” Read more here…

March 7, 2020 (Now Toronto):

Doug Ford gives reconciliation the shaft

Ontario premier uses annual mining conference to announce plans to build an access road to the mineral-rich Ring of Fire in the Far North – too bad he didn’t consult all First Nations

“As Coastal GasLink’s plans to pipe liquid natural gas through Wet’suwet’en traditional lands in northern BC continues to mess with national attempts at reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, Ontario premier Doug Ford announced plans last week to open northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire for mining.” Read more here…

March 9, 2020 (Daily Commercial News):

Queen’s Park signs Ring of Fire planning and development deal

“The Government of Ontario has taken the next step in the development of a new roadway in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire region, signing a planning and development deal with Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation. The new Northern Road Link would connect to the proposed Marten Falls Community Access Road at the south end and to the proposed Webequie Supply Road at the north end, enabling both communities to access the chromite-rich Ring of Fire region west of James Bay once the three roads are built, stated a March 2 release.” Read more here…

March 9, 2020 (Dryden Now):

Innovative safety technology for miners coming, Rickford

“Kenora Rainy-River MPP and Minister responsible for Northern Development and Mines, Greg Rickford, is working to transform the mining industry with new groundbreaking technologies that will help keep local miners safe. In Sudbury, Rickford announced that Ontario has officially committed over $63 million over five years to the Next Generation Networks Program, which will provide state-of-the-art wireless communications within a working mine.” Read more here…

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