Ring of Fire Updates Weekly News Roundup

July 21-27th, 2020 : News Roundup

Criticisms of Doug Ford’s omnibus Bill 197 were put forward this week by Chief Leo Metatawabin of Fort Albany First Nation. While many have been focusing on the implications of this bill for tenant rights and schooling, Chief Metatawabin drew attention to the unusual inclusion of legislation aimed at speeding up environmental assessment processes. MPP John Vanthop similarly questioned what EA processes have to do with COVID recovery, accusing Ford of using this omnibus bill to push an agenda that existed long before the pandemic started.

Meanwhile, MPP Sol Mamakwa issued a press release inviting Premier Ford to come and visit Neskantaga First Nation, home to Canada’s longest boil water advisory. Completely unrelatedly, mining commentator Stan Sudol decided to try his hand at inviting multi-billionaire Elon Musk to visit the Ring of Fire himself after Musk spoke publicly about the importance of mining nickel. Only time will tell whether either invite will come to fruition…

July 24th, 2020 (Timmins Press):

Fort Albany troubled by rapidly approved changes to EA process

“We have watched this with alarm, as our muskeg homeland in Northern Ontario is one of the main targets of this government’s economic agenda”

“Fort Albany Chief Leo Metatawabin says he is troubled by the “rapid and potentially illegal passage” of a bill which he says makes remote Northern communities vulnerable by weakening the environmental assessment process.

“These changes are part of an ongoing effort by this government to overhaul Ontario’s environmental protection regime in support of its promise to ‘cut red tape’ in support of economic interests,” said Metatawabin, in a release issued by the First Nation. “Too often this has seemed to mean weakening protections for vulnerable species and ecosystems based on the false idea that we can have a healthy economy without a healthy environment.” Read more here…

July 24th, 2020 (CTV News: Northern Ontario):

As Elon Musk calls for more nickel production, a mining analyst has some suggestions

“Earlier this week, Tesla boss Elon Musk called for global mining companies to boost their production of nickel, a key element in making batteries for electric cars. “Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way,” Musk said Wednesday, as the company announced second-quarter results. “Don’t wait for nickel to go back to some high point you experienced five years ago … Wherever you are in the world, please mine more nickel.” […] Mining analyst Stan Sudol said if Musk needs more high-grade nickel, he need not look further than the Sudbury basin.” Read more here…

July 25th, 2020 (Net News Ledger):

Sol Mamakwa MPP invites Premier Ford to visit Neskantaga

“Sol Mamakwa is the Ontario NDP critic for Indigenous Affairs, speaking on to NetNewsLedger on the 2020 Legislative Session, Mamakwa invited Ontario Premier Ford north to visit Neskantaga First Nation, to see for himself how the people live, the conditions in the community. Neskantaga has been under a boil water advisory for 25 years.” Read more here…

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