No news this week, just this thinkpiece released on the Policy Options website. The piece calls for transparency on the part of the Impact Assessment Agency pertaining to how it will maintain its commitment to properly consulting Indigenous communities about resource extraction during COVID-19. The author urges the IAA to work harder to ensure that COVID-19 doesn’t push Indigenous voices out of the decision-making process around projects like the North-South road link. We agree!
May 22, 2020 (Policy Options):
Pandemic shouldn’t impede meaningful Indigenous engagement on Ring of Fire
The Impact Assessment Agency must consider meaningful engagement with First Nations and the public as regional assessment planning forges ahead
“On top of the exacerbated risk that First Nations in Northern Ontario face from the spread of COVID-19, the ability of communities that may endure direct, devastating negative impacts from development near Ontario’s Ring of Fire to engage in future planning processes may now be further constrained. A lack of transparency from the Impact Assessment Agency (the “agency”) about ongoing planning for the Ring of Fire regional assessment, compounded by diluted media attention while journalists focus instead on pandemic matters, undermines the agency’s responsibility to meaningfully engage with First Nations about decision-making surrounding proposed projects within the Ring of Fire.” (Read more here…)