Ring of Fire Updates Weekly News Roundup

March 23-29, 2021: Weekly News Roundup

The Ontario government’s 2021 budget was released on March 24 stipulating a spending of $2.8 billion on expanding broadband internet throughout Northern Ontario. The purported aim is to have everyone in the North connected to broadband internet by 2025.

Interestingly, the budget does not include any monies directed toward the “Ring of Fire mineral deposit.”  While there is no plan to ensure that revenue from mining and forestry is shared with cities, towns and First Nations communities – despite 2018 promises – there is money for junior mining companies to continue with exploration.

Meanwhile, in an announcement made by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, it would appear that Noront’s proposed ferrochrome processing facility continues to be at a standstill.

March 25, 2021 (CTV News):

Officials concerned that big items for northern Ontario left out of the provincial budget

“With the COVID-19 pandemic helping shape the 2021 budget, analysts in the north say that overall, they aren’t surprised by what’s in it, but are concerned by what was left out.

Money has been set aside for pandemic pay for Ontario parents, more grants for small businesses and funding for hospitals.

“Northeastern Ontario will benefit from all of this extra spending around healthcare, and there is some infrastructure funding as well,” said Tabachnick. “Particularly around broadband technology. Generally speaking, northern Ontario has less access to broadband technology and so this $2.8 billion spend on expanding broadband will benefit the north.”” Read more here…

March 25, 2021 (Soo Today):

No, the ferrochrome project is still not a done deal, city says

Approvals process remains outstanding for proposed processing facility

“The City of Sault Ste. Marie confirms that Noront Resources Inc. has not received any permits or approvals for the proposed ferrochrome processing facility in the city. 

In other words, the $1-billion project isn’t a for-sure thing, contrary to what some may have gleaned from a report on the growth of electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and its impact on job and real estate markets in northern Ontario cities published by a commercial real estate firm.” Read more here…

March 24, 2021 (CBC)

Ontario finance minister says budget shows ‘this government is there for the north,’ but not everyone agrees

No mention of promised resource revenue sharing and no plan yet for return of passenger rail

“Ontario’s finance minister says it will take years for the province’s economy to recover from the pandemic.

But Peter Bethlanfalvy says despite that his government has not forgotten northern Ontario. 

“The headline for the north: We’re there for you. This government is there for the north,” he told CBC.” Read more here…

%d bloggers like this: