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More Reaction to Cliffs’ “Outta Here” News

  • Guess how often mines minister Michael Gravelle was asked about this in Question Period (QP) in the Ontario Legislature yesterday?   Five times – questions and answers here, here, here, here and here.  You can also read the whole Ring of Fire back & forth from yesterday here or here.  Main message from the Minister?  “it’s an absolute commitment for us. It continues to be a huge opportunity for northern Ontario. It continues to have huge economic development potential for jobs. We’re going to continue to work to keep working on our action plan to move this project forward.”
  • From QP (1)  Ontario NDP boss Andrea Horwath  “Nobody likes the blame game. We don’t want a blame game. We want jobs in this province. That’s what the government should be focusing on, not the blame game.  A lot of people are counting on the jobs and prosperity that the natural resources of the Ring of Fire bring, but they worry that the development corporation announcement is once again about a desperate government scrambling to get ahead of bad news, instead of getting something done for the people who need jobs …. the Premier promised that “thousands of jobs” were coming—those were her words—but, once again, when people desperate for work look beyond the press releases, they see a government without any plans, any details or, frankly, any idea what they are doing. The only jobs the Liberals seem to rally about and seem to really care about are their own jobs.”
  • From QP (2)  NDP MPP Michael Mantha  “…. For over five years, the Liberal government has failed to develop a framework for northern development in the Ring of Fire, but this inaction hasn’t stopped the government from issuing press releases touting opportunities that they have done no work to develop.  Cliffs’—the biggest player in the Ring of Fire—pull-out announcement is not only a blow to job creation in the province but demonstrates most clearly that this government has no plan for northern job creation ….”
  • From QP (3) Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli  Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli  “…. You have absolutely bungled this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s obvious you have absolutely no plan for the north. Will you at least take and implement the PC plan for northern Ontario? …. I have to tell you how appalled I am at a standing ovation for losing a $10-billion job here in Ontario …. The northern minister says, “Don’t worry. The rock is in the ground. It’s not going anywhere. This is a multi-generational opportunity.” My question is, which generation did you have in mind to finally get around to doing something?”
  • From QP (4)  Conservative MPP Norm Miller  “…. What is truly unfortunate is the amount of unheeded warnings that your government received throughout the process …. it is clear that the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of your government …. What is so shameful is, your government has been bragging about developing the Ring of Fire for years now …. you sold hope to the people of northern Ontario and have failed to deliver. First Nation communities and cities like Thunder Bay and Sudbury are all waiting for the investment in jobs that this project would bring ….”
  • Ontario NDP boss Andrea Horwath (2)  ” “Their bungling has snuffed out an amazing opportunity for Northeners and Ontarians overall. And in terms of jobs and resource development, it’s shameful that end up here today with Cliffs pulling out of the province.” ”  Source
  • KWG Resources  “…. KWG Chief Executive Officer Frank Smeenk said the challenges faced by Cliffs may actually help spur resource development in the region because they’ve prompted the provincial government to establish a development corporation to solve a lack of transportation infrastructure.  “There are risk items here that companies have no control over,” Smeenk, whose company has a 30 percent stake in Cliffs’ Big Daddy project, said yesterday by phone ….”  Source
  • Industry  “With the announcement on Nov. 20 that Cliffs Natural Resources has suspended its work on the Ring of Fire, the project could take until 2020 to get underway, said Dick DeStefano, executive director of the Northern Ontario Mining Supply and Services Association.  “Chromite is not ready for the market because of logistics, negotiations with the Native communities and government investments in infrastructure,” DeStefano said ….”  Source
  • Editorial  “…. Federal and provincial governments have a responsibility to carefully review environmental concerns, and First Nations have a right to negotiate the best possible development deal for their lands. The process must be robust and non-partisan. On review, some proposals will be rejected or modified, and should be. But decisions – pro or con – must be made within a reasonable time frame. The Ring of Fire is in its earliest days, and its fate is far from sealed, but early signs are not encouraging for expeditious development.”  Globe & Mail
  • Commentary (1)  “So it seems the Ring of Fire (ROF) has fizzled — leaving only a burning sensation where it hurts …. After one of the major companies involved in its development pulled out Wednesday, the project now appears dead in the water.  Who’s to blame? Well, mostly a government that’s Toronto-centric, doesn’t get mining and doesn’t understand Northern Ontario ….”  Christina Blilzzard, Sun Media
  • Commentary (2)  “…. Cliffs has had an uncomfortable relationship with local First Nations, provincial authorities and other explorers working in the Ring of Fire. Readers may wonder if the company had any understanding of how to deal co-operatively with First Nations or if it thought it could overlook their participation. The Ontario government has been in hot water for years for ignoring its obligations to facilitate consultation between aboriginals and explorers …. There are many good reasons to mine in Canada and to entrench benefits for aboriginal communities. Cliffs could learn through the impact benefits accord process how to include local communities and give them lifelong skills. Cliffs could take the lead in negotiating with its neighbours, rather than decry the government for not stepping in and giving it what it wants. Cliffs could stop being penny wise and pound foolish about transportation ….”  Marilyn Scales, Canadian Mining Journal
  • More in the media here (via Google News)

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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One Response

  1. Denis Alarie says:

    If the Liberal government of Ontario had not wasted 1 billion dollars on partisan bungling of the Gas Plants, they could have paved a road to Ring of Fire resources and laid out a carpet for industry and the first nations to reach the ring of fire.

    Instead the Liberals have alienated investors with their ill-advised northern policies , the increased costs of electrical power in Ontario and a bureaucratic quagmire.

    Cliffs were unwise to think that they could ever get anything done under such a regime. I am surprised it took them so long to take to the exits.

    This is a clear case where the efforts of Cliffs to please everyone as a precondition to move forward has led to end results that please no one and all this at a great cost and expense.

    I remember with fond memories the days when governments could make decisions based on what was best for the province and not what was best for the party. And they like Cliffs are now ending up in a position where they pleased no one and got nowhere.

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