This week, media about the Ring of Fire focused on the voices of people from Attawapiskat First Nation, whose experiences with the De Beers mine nearby has given them plenty of perspective on the long-term impacts of industrial mining in the region.
Attawapiskat’s Chief David Nakogee published a statement decrying Ford’s recent Bill 197, calling its amendments to the Environmental Assessment Act undemocratic and misleading.
July 28, 2020 (Sierra Club blog):
Opposition to the Ring of Fire increases
“As revelations mount about problems with mercury contamination from the now closed De Beers Victor Diamond Mine in Attawapiskat, opposition to proposed Ring of Fire mining projects soar. Claims by the Wildlands League that the company did not release the monitoring results for mercury contamination at 5 of 9 monitoring wells, received a boost on January 13, 2020, when Justice David A. Thomas ruled that these claims of violation of Ontario environmental laws could proceed to trial.
Outrage over apparent deceit by De Beers is similar to what sparked the end of Dump Site 41, when police broke a blockade to prevent excavators from digging a pit for garbage above an aquifer containing the world’s purest waters. The lies of experts retained by Simcoe County were exposed when after the digging, the once pure water, showed signs of sediment. Now, claims by De Beers-paid experts of lack of future contamination are getting more skepticism as they appear to be merely pushing mining in the Ring of Fire.” Read more here…
July 30, 3030 (Newswire):
Attawapiskat First Nation denounces Ford’s undemocratic environmental risk
Statement on Bill 197 changes to the Environmental Assessment Act
“On July 8, 2020, the Ford government in Ontario introduced Bill 197 — the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020, and a mere 13 days later the Bill became law. This omnibus bill amends many statutes, foremost among them the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA). The changes put Ontario’s fragile environment, and First Nations who depend on it, at serious risk.
“Ontario pushed these amendments through in a wholly undemocratic way, hiding them in an omnibus bill mispresented by a Covid title, when the EAA changes have nothing to do with getting past the pandemic,” says AttFN Chief David Nakogee.” Read more here…