August 2-8, 2022 : Weekly News Roundup

The Narwhal published a piece summarizing the issues surrounding the Ring of Fire development proposals. In June, the provincial government appointed a new mines minister, George Pirie, which is the first time since 1970 that there has been a minister designated exclusively for mining interests. Pirie met last month with Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie, and Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum. Pirie spoke of other mining industry and Indigenous collaborations, and stated that: “These companies are doing things correctly because they’ve got enlightened management,” Pirie said. “If you’ve got good relationships with First Nation partners, anything’s possible.”

On July 23 Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister visited Neskantaga First Nations and made commitments to the community, including: funding for new housing for professionals from outside of the community, improvements to the water infrastructure, and supports to build trust in the water after the water safety is established.

August 2, 2022 (The Narwhal):

Everything you need to know about the push to mine Ontario’s Ring of Fire

The Ontario government wants the Ring of Fire to be a mining hub. But there are big questions about the environment, the cost and First Nations consent that need to be answered

“One study, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment in 2021, estimated that between 130 and 250 megatonnes of carbon could be released into the atmosphere if all of the peatland in the Ring of Fire covered by mining claims is disturbed. 

“[Peatlands] regulate the climate,” said Justina Ray, president and senior scientist of Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, who was a co-author of the study. “It represents up to 10,000 years of accumulated peat, which has lots of carbon.” Read more here . . .

August 3, 2022 (Northern Ontario Business):

Timmins’ George Pirie takes the helm as mines minister

Expediting mine development in critical minerals and the Ring of Fire on the new minister’s radar

““We can’t be green if we’re not mining.”
Ontario’s new mines minister, George Pirie, mentioned that phrase a handful of times during an interview this week in commenting on the desire of governments in Canada and globally to rapidly transition into net-zero emission economies over the next decade.

With major multi-billion-dollar investments being made into electric vehicle battery component plants in Windsor and Kingston, Pirie said mining is crucial to supply these facilities with the necessary raw materials to build these clean technologies.” Read more here. . .

August 8, 2022 (Indigenous Services Canada—government statement):

Neskantaga First Nation welcomes Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, to community

“During the visit to the community arena, community members highlighted the need for ongoing supports for young people in the community, including a multipurpose facility that could serve as a daycare centre and drop-in youth centre. Minister Hajdu committed to continuing these important discussions and working with community leadership to ensure that families in Neskantaga First Nation can access the resources they need.” Read more here. . .

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