Ring of Fire News

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What's up with the biggest thing happening in mining in NW Ontario?

Ring of Fire News – January 18, 2013

  • Idle No More & Chief Spence news still coming in steady – check here and here for the latest.
  • One unified theory of Idle No More and what it’s trying to promote  “…. Regional Chief of Ontario Stan Beardy puts the discussion of C-38 and 45 this way: “We’re not against resource extraction, but it can’t be at the expense of mankind.”  It doesn’t take Beardy, whose org opted not to attend the January 11 meeting with Harper, long to get to northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining development, much hyped by the provincial Lib government. He calls the project a likely “open pit in the midst of a swamp. What will they do with tailings? They will be absorbed into the water and the muskeg. All the life – fish, birds, animals, people – will consume toxic waste.”  According to UN law on indigenous peoples, he points out, treaties have to be upheld, and the federal government must consult aboriginal people on such projects. As a “successor state,” Canada doesn’t have inherent rights to make decisions on its own, he says.   So here’s the punchline: “We want to create national and international awareness that the government failed in its obligation to consult the rights holders, and the [consequence] will be economic uncertainty. It makes foreign investors have second thoughts. Their lawyers are saying that if the legal requirement to consult is inadequate, there could be a legal injunction down the line that will jeopardize investors’ dollars.”  And that could well be how aboriginal title will save the nation.”  Source – more on calls for more, better consultation here, here and here
  • So which Ontario Liberal leadership (alleged) frontrunner knows the Ring of Fire best, Kathleen Wynne ….  “…. (Ontario Liberal leadership hopeful Kathleen) Wynne said the Ring of Fire is top of mind in her books.  “I want to make sure that we move the Ring of Fire project ahead. The ferrochrome processor in Capreol is an important project for northeastern Ontario, and we want to make sure the Ring of Fire moves ahead in a way that brings First Nations and aboriginal partners together, but also benefits the whole North.  “I’m also committing to working with the Northern Policy Institute. (Friday) morning in Timmins, we talked about the necessity of looking at more local decision-making. We (have to) make sure that decisions that are made in the north are made as close to the north and with northern sensibilities in mind.”  She discussed the divestment of Ontario Northland as well, saying the “outdated” coach industry needs to have new regulations.  “The issues around Ontario Northland have to do with having a comprehensive transportation strategy for the north. I think we need to look at how are we going to move freight around the North, how are we going to make sure that people can move across Northern Ontario and from Northern Ontario to southern Ontario and back.  “That means rail, it means great roads and it means looking at the regulation of the coach line industry, because there really is a need to re-regulate the coach industry. It’s an outdated regulatory regime, and I think it’s constraining the ability of private industry to provide the best service.”  Sourcemore
  • ….. or Sandra Pupatello?  “Liberal Party members across Ontario will select about 2,000 delegates this weekend for the leadership convention.  Sixteen delegates from each of the province’s 107 ridings are to be selected.  The six leadership candidates are Eric Hoskins, Gerard Kennedy, Sandra Pupatello, Charles Sousa, Harinder Takhar and Kathleen Wynne. Glen Murray dropped out of the race on Thursday and says he’ll support Wynne.  Delegate selection will be held in Thunder Bay on Saturday, 3-8 p.m., at the DaVinci Centre for Thunder Bay-Atikokan riding members; and Italian Cultural Centre for Thunder Bay-Superior North members.  Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle said Thursday that he hopes delegates will follow his lead and support Pupatello’s leadership bid …. “We’ve very conscious of the major economic development opportunities offered by the Ring of Fire and we want to see them moving forward, and that is one of the reasons why I am supporting (Pupatello).” Gravelle said.”  Source
  • Kitchenuhmaykoosib Chief:  Ontario rules don’t apply to us anymore  “The chief of Kitchenuhmaykoosib says it’s time to draw the province into the Idle No More debate.  Because Ontario signed a treaty, Donny Morris said he’s directing his protest at the province.  Morris’s latest YouTube video on the Kitchenuhmaykoosib website stated his support for Attawapiskat Chief Teresa Spence’s hunger strike. Both Morris and Spence are from communities in Treaty 9, to which Ontario is also a signatory.  In the video, Morris said he wants an invitation to Queen’s Park. When he’s there, he plans to tell provincial legislators their laws don’t apply in his traditional territory anymore.  “I’m putting Ontario on notice that your policies are not recognized,” he said. “I’m strongly telling you to tell your proponents that work under you to stay away from our territory.”  Morris said the community has its own laws and regulations that it will apply.  Ontario’s minister of Aboriginal Affairs gave a generic answer at a news conference in Thunder Bay on Thursday when he was asked about Morris’ stand.  “We’ll continue to work very closely with First Nations, Aboriginal peoples to continue to achieve a greater prosperity for all in the future,” Chris Bentley said.  But Morris asserted that Ontario hasn’t been working with him, and said he’s tired of waiting for that to happen.  “We will [be the ones who] decide how we want to work with development, protecting our waters and how it will be structured,” Morris said.”  Source
  • Provincial training money headed right to (at least one) Ring of Fire community  “Ontario is investing in training and development projects that will support jobs and improve the quality of life for First Nations communities in the Ring of Fire.  New projects will focus on providing social, community and economic development supports to First Nations to help them participate in potential Ring of Fire developments. Training and development areas include:  Heavy equipment operation;  Pre-employment trades training;  (and)  General Educational Development preparation.  Investing in Northern Ontario is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to create jobs, grow the economy and help every Ontarian succeed …. A one-time investment of $3.1 million will provide skills training and community governance and capacity building in six First Nation communities.  Webequie First Nation will host Mining for Non-Miners training, a two-day course that will teach up to 30 First Nation participants about mining from early discovery to mine closure ….”  Source (Government of Ontario news release – more (In Support of Mining blog)
  • Speaking of training in Webequie ….  “Youth at Webequie First Nation are to get an educational opportunity next month when Cambrian College’s mobile trades training trailer visits the community.  Sixteen Webequie members are to be trained in basic trades-related skills, instructor Peter Pagnutti said Wednesday.  “We’re offering a pre-trades (program), which is an introduction to basic mechanical work,” Pagnutti said at Thunder Bay’s Airlane hotel, where the trailer was parked. “Whether you’re going to become a millwright, a heavy equipment mechanic, truck and coach mechanic, it’s just . . . learning how to drill and tap steel, how to weld, how to use torches, how to braze, fusion welding, cutting.”  The 10-week Webequie training program is to start Monday in Thunder Bay. The trailer will make its way to Webequie via winter roads for the second week of the program, and stay there for the remainder.  “We’ll be bringing a lot of components,” Pagnutti said. “We have an engine that we can tear right down and see all the internal components. We have transmissions, differentials, hydraulic training boards.”  The trailer is being dispatched to Webequie by Oshki Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute with the help of a government grant.  Institute executive director Rosie Mosquito said bringing training opportunities to remote communities is a good approach ….”  Source
  • Talk (but no decisions yet) on electrical power (maybe to mines?) in northern Ontario  “The province will have a plan in place on how to meet Northern Ontario’s growing energy needs within a few months, Ontario’s energy minister assured Thursday.  The question of how, exactly, to provide the necessary power to the region as it prepares for a mining boom was the topic of discussion at a meeting Thursday between Energy Minister Chris Bentley and representatives of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and the City of Thunder Bay.  The gathering didn’t produce anything concrete, save for an assurance that there will be more meetings on the matter.  Bentley said that was the point.  “I was determined that we not come in with a conclusion,” he said after the meeting at the Airlane hotel. “We didn’t come in with a report from the OPA, because I said we need to hear, in detail, from the energy task force and from the experts in the region.  “We’re not leaving with a conclusion, because they’ve got more work to do — both sides have got more discussions to have, so that we make sure we fully identify not only what the opportunities are, what the load energy requirements are, but the timing of those requirements, so we can get the infrastructure right.  “I’m really quite confident that we’re going to get to wherever we need to be in the coming months.”  While the province is determined to hold more talks, the city and region are concerned that the process is being drawn out.  Several mines are expected to come online within the next eight years, which will bring with them major power requirements. Coun. Iain Angus — who chairs the city’s energy task force — said that a 500-megawatt bump in power requirements is expected in 2016.  At the same time, conversion of the Thunder Bay Generating Station from coal to natural gas remains stalled due to the OPA assuring the region’s power needs can be met in other ways, and for much cheaper. Halting the conversion, the OPA has said, will save $400 million, but the agency has not yet offered specifics ….”  Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-18 Jan 13 (20 page PDF) here. All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act. The blog is not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

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