The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.
TIMMINS – MP Charlie Angus (NDP — Timmins-James Bay) foresees a clash between First Nations and mining companies within the Ring of Fire. He believes the federal government has a role to play in helping to prevent it.
“We could end up with clashes on the ground and it seems to be a lot opportunity to have conflict over this,” Angus said Wednesday. “I’ve talked to First Nations and I’ve talked to mining companies in the North who are both very frustrated about the fact when it comes to these negotiations, the feds are not at the table.
“We need to be partners together for development. What we want to see is the feds sitting down at the table” along with the province, First Nation communities and mining companies. The Daily Press asked Angus about building tensions within the James Bay lowlands during a wide-ranging interview on Wednesday in advance of the fall session of parliament which begins Monday.
Among the key concerns for Angus is the plan to increase size of the Timmins-James Bay federal riding which is already larger than some European countries.
If Ottawa’s boundary redistribution plan goes through, Timmins-James Bay would take in Kapuskasing, Hearst, Val Rita and Moonbeam, which are currently part of Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing riding.
Angus said it simply doesn’t make sense for this riding to take on an extra 300 kilometres of highway and at least five more communities.
“Under the proposed changes, the City of Sudbury, the City of North Bay and the City of Sault Ste. Marie will have a smaller population base and a smaller riding than the population in the new Timmins riding,” said Angus.
The southern point of the riding will be just north of Englehart.
“We will be larger than Great Britain,” said Angus.
If there is any consolation for Angus, it is in the fact the government is not moving ahead with its original plan to lower the number of ridings in Northern Ontario.
The last time that happened was 2004 when the government reduced the number of Northern ridings from 11 to 10.
“There was a real push at one point. We were afraid we were going to lose (another) seat out of Northern Ontario,” said Angus. “They’ve decided to keep that.”
For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.timminspress.com/2012/09/12/mp-foresees-fiery-clash