Ring of Fire Updates Weekly News Roundup

August 11-17, 2020 : Weekly News Roundup

The Ontario government recently pushed through a new bill called the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, which included 20 pieces of legislation. One important component was a significant amendment to how decisions are made around what kinds of projects need to undergo a full environmental assessment in Ontario. This week a number of important stakeholders in the so-called Ring of Fire spoke out against the Bill, saying that it has the potential to undermine treaty rights and Indigenous sovereignty.

Meanwhile, Noront CEO Alan Coutts was in the media speaking confidently in assuring the public that the Eagle’s Nest mine project is still on track to be completed as of 2025.

August 13th, 2020 (CBC):

Mushkegowuk Grand Chief raises concerns about new law that changes environmental assessment process

Bill 197, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, makes changes to the environmental assessment process

“As exploration activity starts up again in the mineral-rich Ring of Fire in northern Ontario, a First Nations group is raising concerns about recent legislative changes to environmental assessment they say erode their rights. After being shut down due to COVID-19, Noront Resources is ramping up its search for new gold and nickel deposits. During the pandemic, the provincial government pushed through Bill 197, called the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act. It included 20 pieces of legislation, including changes to the province’s building code act and the environmental assessment act.” Read more here…

August 13th, 2020 (Northern Ontario Business):

Noront CEO expects no delays in Ring of Fire road construction and mine start

Federal regional review of Far North mineral development will have no bearing on pace of progress, says Alan Coutts

“Ottawa’s new region-wide approach to Far North development shouldn’t interfere with Noront Resources’ timetable to put the first mine in the Ring of Fire into production by the middle of 2025, said the company CEO. Alan Coutts said he has no reason to believe that the federal Regional Assessment process will delay the start of operations at the Eagle’s Nest Mine based on his conversation with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan. “In talking to Minister O’Regan, we’re being led to believe this could get done over a two-year period.”” Read more here…

August 13, 2020 (CBC):

Northern Ontario First Nation makes history with its community-based curriculum

Long Lake 58 First Nation created ‘groundbreaking’ lessons from its own past

“There are modules and lesson plans for every grade level, beginning in kindergarten with a focus on family relationships and ending with grade 12 classes on the Ring of Fire, a mining development in the region. “The Ring of Fire holds great potential and I think it’s important that students can think critically about it,” Waubageshig says.” Read more here…

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