Ring of Fire Updates Uncategorized Weekly News Roundup

January 12-18, 2021 : Weekly News Roundup

This week, the Matawa Chiefs Council issued a public statement calling on the Ford government to place a moratorium on ‘development activities’ throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Concerned about the environmental impacts of the construction of roads and mining projects, the chiefs want comprehensive studies to be carried out prior to future development activity in order to determine how to protect the wetlands, watersheds and peatlands in the region.

They argue that due to the pandemic, communities have not had the full opportunity to voice their concerns about the various projects that are in the works under Ford’s ‘fast-track’ approach. This includes changes in legislation that the Ontario government has pushed forward with, such as Bill 197, which made changes to the environmental assessment process, and the Far North Act which, according to the Yellowhead Institute gives “the ultimate and unilateral authority to approve mining developments” to government.

January 12, 2021 (Timmins Daily Press)

Mushkegowuk chiefs call for moratorium on development within Ring of Fire

Chiefs say development activities should be halted until plans are in place to “ensure sensitive wetlands and watersheds are protected”

“Mushkegowuk Council chiefs are calling for a moratorium on development in the Ring of Fire until there are studies and plans in place that will ensure mining operations will have no environmental or ecological impact on traditional lands.” More here…

January 13, 2021 (Toronto Star)

Mushkegowuk chiefs call for moratorium on Ring of Fire development

“Mushkegowuk Council chiefs want a moratorium imposed on the Ring of Fire development until the traditional lands and watersheds are protected.

In a Jan. 12 news release, the chiefs asked for development activities to be suspended until comprehensive studies and plans are done on how to protect “sensitive wetlands and watersheds” in the Hudson Bay Lowland, including rivers such as Attawapiskat, Albany, Ekwan and Winisk as well as thousands of streams that flow into the Hudson Bay and James Bay.” Read more here…

January 15, 2021 (CBC)

Matawa chiefs demand province stop all activities affecting land, treaty rights during pandemic

The Chiefs Council rejected ‘imposed deadline’ of Thursday to comment on proposed changes to Far North Act

“The Matawa Chiefs Council has issued a public statement requesting that the Ontario government stop all activities that affect the rights and interests of First Nations members while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Marten Falls First Nation Chief Bruce Achneepineskum said the move was spurred the province’s declaration of a second state of emergency due to rising case numbers, and the government-imposed deadline of Thursday for comments related to proposed changes to the Far North Act.” Read more here…

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