Doug Ford is on the campaign trail right now, and his message is that “Northern Ontario’s best days are still ahead.” At a stop in Sault Ste Marie, Ford promised to give one billion dollars to create a northern road link to the Ring of Fire, in partnership with Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations. All of this is in service of his aim to make Ontario a “resource powerhouse”, especially when it comes to the production of electric vehicles. However, at a Northern Ontario-focused leaders debate, Ford left the premises before journalists had the chance to ask him any follow-up questions about the Ring of Fire.
Meanwhile, in a piece of investigative journalism published in The Narwhal last week, internal documents have shown that the Ontario government is no closer to securing the $1 billion Ford has confidently promised for the northern road link than they were in 2018. Ontario needs the federal government to pitch in some of the money in order to be able to follow through on this financial promise, but Freedom of Information requests have revealed that negotiations around this financial collaboration have not progressed in years.
May 7, 2022 (CBC):
Ford recommits to $1-billion road to the Ring of Fire on campaign trail
The NDP says province has not adequately consulted with First Nations on the Ring of Fire
“Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford doubled down on his promise to build a $1-billion road to the Ring of Fire during a campaign stop in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on Saturday. The mineral deposit located about 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont., has taken on new importance as the province has shifted its sights to the production of electric vehicles and mining the critical minerals needed to produce their batteries.
“As we build new EV battery facilities and secure massive new investments from the auto companies, these resources have never been more important,” Ford said on Saturday. “I want the minerals extracted here in the north.”” Read more here…
May 7, 2022 (CTV News):
Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford touts party’s progress in Ring of Fire plan
“Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford is touting the progress his party has made on the Ring of Fire development. He says his party would continue to work with Indigenous communities and invest $1 billion to build an all-season road to potential mining sites in the Ring of Fire if re-elected in June. […] Ford says he’s “proud” to have sat down with the chiefs of the Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations last month and that collaboration with community partners is what’s been missing from getting the “ambitious” project done.” Read more here…
May 7, 2022 (The Sault Star):
Ford promises $1 billion for Ring of Fire road
“Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford said building a road to the Ring of Fire will lead to prosperity in Ontario by creating jobs in the North and support Indigenous and remote communities. Ford said a re-elected government will pave the way to complete the task of building an all-season route to the Ring of Fire, something his government promised to do before being elected four-years ago. Ford, in Sault Ste. Marie for the Saturday morning announcement, said the ‘Corridor of Prosperity’ will be a “game-changer” for communities such as Sault Ste. Marie as well as support improved access to goods and services and move forward with $1-billion to build a road into the Ring of Fire.” Read more here…
May 9, 2022 (Automotive News Canada):
Doug Ford says PC’s progress in Ring of Fire plan will make Ontario EV ‘powerhouse’
Ring of Fire is a region about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay that is said to be rich in critical minerals needed in EVs
“Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford is touting the progress his party has made on the Ring of Fire development, saying the minerals extracted from the site will make Ontario a “resource powerhouse,” allowing the province to become a leader in electric-vehicle production in North America. He says his party would continue to work with Indigenous communities and invest $1 billion to build an all-season road to potential mining sites in the Ring of Fire if re-elected in June.” Read more here…
May 11, 2022 (The Narwhal):
Four years in, Doug Ford still can’t pay for a mining road to Ontario’s Ring of Fire: internal documents
This Ontario election, Doug Ford is promising a road to the Ring of Fire, again. But internal documents show requests for $1 billion in federal funding haven’t advanced since 2018
“Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives call the Ring of Fire a “corridor to prosperity.” […] But internal briefing notes and correspondence obtained by The Narwhal show that a vital component of the Ford government’s plan to do so is sputtering out instead of gaining momentum. The 565 pages, obtained through 20 separate freedom-of-information requests to the provincial and federal governments, show that Ontario is no closer than it was in 2018 to securing the $1 billion in federal funding it needs to pay for roads and other infrastructure. Without funding and the roads it would build, mining development in the Ring of Fire cannot happen.” Read more here...
May 12, 2022 (North Bay Nugget):
Party leaders pressed on their stance on Ring of Fire development at FONOM conference
“Debate about the development of the Ring of Fire was noticeably absent during Tuesday’s Northern Ontario Leaders’ Debate at the Capitol Centre. National and local media had an opportunity to raise the issue with the party leaders following the debate hosted by the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM). Conservative Leader Doug Ford left the building immediately after the debate.” Read more here…