Ring of Fire Updates Weekly News Roundup

September 29 – October 5, 2020 : Weekly News Roundup

Neskantaga First Nation’s Chief Chris Moonias criticizes Webequie First Nation for submitting the Terms of Reference (ToR) for their proposed 107km supply road to a mineral deposit, during the pandemic. The ToR lay out the framework for the environmental assessment for the project.

While Chief Moonias indicates that his community wants to be involved in the consultation process, he contends that under the current crisis, it is impossible for them to meaningful engage. The response from the Ministry of Environment has been to extend the comment period to 60 days, ending on October 13 and to suggest that “communities and interested persons…reach out to the proponent, Webequie First Nation, for additional project-specific consultation approaches.”

September 29, 2020 (CBC):

Consultation process pits First Nation against First Nation in northern Ontario

‘Irresponsible’ to push mining supply road during pandemic, Neskantaga chief says

“Two First Nations in northern Ontario are facing off in a confrontation set up by the province’s environmental assessment regime. Webequie First Nation is seeking response to the terms of reference it submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks on August 14, for a proposed 107-kilometre supply road to a mineral deposit in the Ring of Fire.

The terms of reference (ToR) is the framework for the environmental assessment for the road before it is built. Provincial regulations require consultation on that framework with other First Nations whose traditional territory may be impacted by the project and who indicate they want to be consulted.

Neighbouring Neskantaga First Nation wants to be consulted, but its chief says they cannot meaningfully do so during the pandemic.” Read more here…

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