March 9 – 15, 2021:Weekly News Round-up

The province of Ontario announced that a “Critical Mineral Strategy” would be launched by the end of the year. The talking points revolved around a goal of reducing red tape and attracting more investment into the sector. Greg Rickford is quoted speaking to the potential for Ontario to extract cobalt, lithium and graphite, and becoming a producer of electric vehicles, stainless steel products, aerospace technology and defense electronics.  Greg Rickford notes the government will not significantly fund projects but will incentivize in other ways.

An op ed written by a Sault Ste Marie resident pointed to the generational harms mining in the Ring of Fire would cause. The piece focuses on the fossil fuel demands of the proposed operations and the harms to the climate, the harms to the ecosystems mining would disrupt and the harmful impact of living near mining and smelting operations. The piece points to the strategy by Noront’s CEO of using the lure of short-term gains to get mining approval. The author points out that CEO Alan Coutts knows that the only way shovels will ever touch the ground, and that he will realize a return on his financial investments, is to entice local First Nations with a token share of the profits. He asserts that it is important to remember that this is ultimately a capital venture for Coutts and that it will not be as advantageous to the people of James Bay as Coutts claims.

Additionally this week, the Canadian government announced that it will not meet it’s target of 2021 to end the water crises in Indigenous communities.

March 10, 2021 (Globe and Mail):

Ontario wades into critical minerals sector but curbs enthusiasm on major investments

Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Mines, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs, said the province is starting a public consultation period on critical minerals, with a goal of reducing red tape and attracting more investment into the sector. The consultation will be open to a range of stakeholders, including the mining industry, Indigenous land owners and investors.

Read more here…

March 12, 2021 (The Sault Star):

‘Pillaging’ Ring of Fire’s mineral wealth has no silver lining

The James Bay Lowlands have been a valuable commodity to the First Nations Peoples for thousands of years. And they will not diminish one iota for countless generations should its custodians continue protecting their lands from looters.

Read more here…

March 15, 2021 (Kenora Online):

Rickford aims to make Ontario a mining destination

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford says he’s pleased to see Ontario’s announcement of their first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy, which aims to position the province as a world leader in the mining sector.

Read more here…

March 15, 2021 (Kenora Online):

Melillo wants to ‘eat his words’ on clean water crisis

Ottawa has once again delayed the completion of much-needed work on designing and building water construction plants in communities with long-term drinking water advisories but has recommitted to providing clean drinking water across the country.

Read more here…

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