Find a way to get [Ring of Fire] started – by Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal Editorial (July 2, 2012)
The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.
THE BIGGEST development in Ontario — and potential salvation of the troubled northern economy — is facing a new set of challenges from First Nations leaders. They are issuing an eviction notice to all mining companies with operations in the Ring of Fire mineral deposit. And they are suing the province for unpaid royalties on former development projects in the North.
There is so much at stake, and so much opportunity to uplift lives on and off reserves, that it would be a shame to let the development bog down if there are ways to make it happen in good time.
First, can we get a definitive statement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Dalton McGuinty, who have discussed the development, on why a lesser study for environmental assessment is sufficient for the project rather than a more comprehensive joint review panel? This approach fits with the federal government’s new policy push to lessen environmental oversight on large energy projects, but is it the right decision? Does McGuinty agree with it?
This project will see open pit mining for decades and a long road built through virgin forest from the James Bay lowlands to the CN rail line. Does it require an environmental assessment that results in public hearings in each of the affected First Nations as their leaders contend? Read the rest of this entry »