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Ring of Fire News – June 21, 2013

  • Cliffs:  Stop to EA Work =/= Stop to All Project Work  “Although there have been no official changes since Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. suspended its environmental assessment last week, an official with the company is optimistic there will be soon.  The Cleveland-based company suspended its work on an environmental assessment for a proposed $3 billion project in the Ring of Fire saying until issues with First Nations and government are resolved it has taken the process as far as it can go.  In Thunder Bay Wednesday, senior vice-president of global ferroalloys Bill Boor said it’s time that all parties involved work together to see the project happen.  “We’re not leaving ourselves out of this, we’ve all got a responsibility to find solutions and that’s what this is really about,” he said.  Boor said individual meetings with First Nations communities or with government always leave him optimistic.  “I don’t see differences that we can’t get past,” he said.  But so far the difficulty has been getting everyone together to figure out a way forward. In the meantime the company continues to work on technical aspects of the project and hold discussions with First Nations and government.  “That’s not always visible to other people,” he said ….”
  • Mines Minister Still Confident  “Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle is confident the mining activity will move forward in the Ring of Fire, despite recent delays.  “Cliffs Natural Resources announced a suspension of their environmental assessment process and indicated some other concerns. They also, at the very same time, made it very clear that they’re very confident in the project, remaining committed to the project and certainly remaining very committed to the province,” he said.  “There will be challenges along the way, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re talking about opening a part of the province to potential development that’s never been developed before. We need to make sure we get it right,” he said ….”
  • What the Environmentalists Have to Say  “Cliffs should stop pointing fingers, check its corporate ego before resuming work on Ring of Fire”
  • One Editorial’s View  “…. Because the timing is so convenient with its cost-cutting agenda, Cliffs’ Ring of Fire suspension does have a bit of a phony, emotional blackmail feel to it ….”
  • Bob Rae:  No Longer an MP, now Working for Matawa  “…. It has become clear to me that the full scope of the negotiator’s job is no longer compatible with my also serving as a member of Parliament. And so I face a choice.  I have decided to return to my profession as a lawyer and mediator, to continue working for the Matawa Tribal Council, and to step down as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre.  This has been a difficult personal decision ….” more
  • NW Ontario MPP:  Time for Ontario to “Name That Negotiator”?  “….  MPP Bill Mauro (Lib. Thunder Bay – Atikokan) said Rae stepping down has put more pressure on the province to find its lead negotiator.  “It certainly heightened expectations,” he said. “There’s a commitment from the province that we appoint someone as well who can have a similar role.”  Mauro said the negotiator wouldn’t just work with Matawa, but with all areas impacted by the Ring of Fire development. That includes the private interests.  While the secretariat does negotiate, Mauro said there are high expectations for the province to do more and to have more focused approached.  “We’re trying to move it forward,” he said. “I think you’re likely to hear something one way or the other in the not too distant future.”  The Northern Cabinet Committee, which Mauro chairs, is expected to meet in the summer months. Mauro suspects picking a negotiator will be one of the topics that they discuss.”
  • Wanna-be MPP:  Time for Ontario to Name a Ring of Fire Minister  “Sudbury Progressive Conservative candidate Paula Peroni has started a petition calling upon Premier Kathleen Wynne to adopt an Ontario PC commitment to appoint a single minister to be in charge of development in the Ring of Fire.  Cliffs Natural Resources announced recently it was suspending environmental assessment work on its chromite deposit in the Ring of Fire, partly it said because of delays with the provincial government.  “Our government should be doing everything it can to engage new business in Ontario, especially in Greater Sudbury,” Peroni said in a news release issued Thursday.  “It is unacceptable that ongoing delays and incredibly high electricity prices continue to chase away new business in this province,” she said ….”
  • First Nation organizer:  Woulda been nice to see more First Nations at mining conference  ” Mike Metatawabin says he’s disappointed that there wasn’t more First Nation representation at this year’s provincial mining conference.  Metatawabin, the president of Five Nations Energy Inc., joined about 50 other participants at the third annual Ontario Mining Forum at the Valhalla Inn. The two-day mining forum, which started Thursday, promised keynote speakers such as Ontario’s Ring of Fire Secretariat Christine Kaszycki but did not deliver.  Instead, the forum heard from various speakers including politicians and the city’s Community Economic Development Commission on the mining industry in the region.  The cost to attend the event averaged out to be about $2,000 per person. Some participants speculated that that price kept more people, including First Nation officials, from attending.  With major projects like the Ring of Fire being discussed, Metatawabin believes it’s crucial First Nation organizations and chiefs attend these conferences.  “During the course of these conferences that I’ve attended, these presentations bring a lot of hope and a lot of inspiration to what we need in the North,” he said. “I think our leadership needs to hear this and be a part of these conferences. We need to sit down, set aside the politics and maybe engage our business people. There’s so much potential 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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