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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – November 28, 2014

  • This question in Ontario’s Legislature yesterday, from Tory Aboriginal Affairs critic Norm Miller  “My question is to the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. Minister, $2.7 billion is waiting for Ontario in the Building Canada Fund for infrastructure. While your government has yet to submit a list of projects for this application, you were quoted last week stating that the upcoming application from Ontario is “unlikely” to include a request for infrastructure funding for the Ring of Fire.  Minister, could you please let us know which specific infrastructure projects are more important to your government than making the Ring of Fire a reality?”  The Minister’s answer?  “It’s time for the federal government to come forward with a proposal to match our commitment of a billion dollars in the Ring of Fire. They can keep playing games all they want with infrastructure projects. It’s a very simple request: Match our funding. That’s all we’re asking.”
  • Mo’ from Ontario  “Responding to a sea of criticism over its handling of the Ring of Fire, the province’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines insisted Tuesday his government’s strategy will make the chromite discovery a success.  Michael Gravelle said he’s pleased with the progress his government has made, despite comments from opposition politicians and business that the $60-billion project is languishing under the Liberal guidance.  “We have a clear plan and we’re implementing it,” Gravelle said, who said they have made significant progress in recent weeks.  But the biggest stakeholders in the project is considerably less optimistic ….”
  • RoF in the first Ontario Tory leadership debate in Sudbury  “It was the last question at the first Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership debate, submitted online by a man from Huntsville. But it fired up candidates and an audience of about 150 people, most party faithful, at College Boreal on Monday night.  Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod and Barrie MP Patrick Brown were asked what their plans were to spur development of the Ring of Fire.  “We’ve heard a lot of talk and promises from the Liberals,” wrote the Huntsville resident, “but no real plan to move forward.”  All four candidates couldn’t have agreed more with that statement ….”
  • From an Toronto Star editorial on the PM and Ontario’s Premier butting heads  “…. The leaders are at loggerheads over one project: the massive Ring of Fire chromite mining and smelting development in Northern. Ontario wants Ottawa to match its $1-billion contribution. The federal government says its share of the Building Canada Fund is more than that ….”
  • Some opinion from a northwestern Ontario NDP MP  “…. What’s my opinion on the Ring of Fire debacle? Ministers Rickford and Gravelle are both right. Both of their governments have failed the people of Northwestern Ontario. In particular Mr. Rickford, whose riding in which the $50 billion mineral deposit is located, has proven to be a completely ineffective Member of Parliament for his constituents and an extremely weak Minister for his Conservative government. Thankfully New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair has hired Howard Hampton to be his Special Advisor on this important project. Howard brings more than 30 years’ experience in politics and working with the mining sector and First Nations. He, and we, can finally get this job done once and for all ….”
  • “The David Suzuki Foundation is siding with two northern First Nation communities in requesting a moratorium on mining exploration permits in the Ring of Fire.  The Toronto and Vancouver-based environmental organization has been working with Neskantaga and Nibinamik to build the remote communities’ policy and decision-making capacity toward making planning and land-use decisions that are in keeping with their traditional way of life ….”Foundation’s 27 Nov 14 news release
  • Not everyone keen on new Mushkegowuk Grand Chief’s idea of bringing power from James Bay down to the RoF  “…. If the chiefs are going to sign the lands away without the people’s consent, then there is no meaningful consultation. A Chief of any organization (such as the Mushkegowuk Council) or any First Nation is not to sign any agreements with mining companies unless the people he represents tell him to do so, A chief is only a spokesperson for his people and cannot, or should not make decisions without proper consultation and fully informed consent ….”
  • Again with the “blimps for the RoF”  “…. Here is a fantasy about northern development and the Ring of Fire. Everyone in the story really exists. Not a single event in the story has happened—yet.  In late 2014, the chief of the Moose Cree First Nation, Norm Hardisty, wrote to Stephen McGlennan, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles in Britain, asking if their Airlander 50 would be a suitable vehicle for CreeWest, a First Nations-owned air carrier. Hardisty didn’t have a clear plan in mind, but he knew that if First Nations controlled an essential transportation system they would be big winners in the development of Ontario’s North. McGlennan phoned Hardisty back saying he would fly a half-dozen people to the hangar in London where the radical airship is being built ….”
  • An “oopsie” by a brokerage firm with only the briefest contact (thinking about contact, really) with the RoF  “A brokerage industry executive at the centre of one of Bay Street’s biggest criminal frauds in the 1980s is facing new accusations of improperly selling shares in a small mining company.  The Ontario Securities Commission said Tuesday that it has laid quasi-criminal charges in provincial court against Venard (Lenny) Gaudet of Toronto, accusing him of unregistered trading in shares and selling securities without issuing a prospectus. The allegations involve the sale of shares of Intrinsic Minerals Ltd. in 2012 …. Intrinsic was incorporated in 2007 and said its mission was to acquire and explore prospective mineral projects. In a 2008 news release, the company announced it had entered into an option to buy a half-interest in properties in the Ring of Fire location in Northern Ontario owned by Noront Resources Ltd., but the option expired unexercised ….”

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