[Ontario Ring of Fire] The frozen triangle of the “visionless” – by Don Wallace (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – October 2, 2016)


Now, 10 years on and still no plan, one recalls the exaltation of the Ring of Fire discovery back in 2007. Alas, we do with chagrin given how little progress has been made in the interim.

After a decade, there is still no plan. What is worse is we find the three protagonists, Queen’s Park, the feds and the fly-in First Nations (FIFN) locked in some kind of a frozen rigid triangle of the “visionless.”

For starters, ignoring the fact that Queen’s Park has total jurisdiction over all of Ontario’s natural resources, the current minister refuses to make a plan and file same for federal funding stating he refuses to do so without the support of the FIFN. Which begs the question who is running this province?

Meanwhile, the FNs will not agree to anything; not even the recent proposal to bring all-weather roads to some FN communities (not to be confused with heavy use resource roads needed by the Ring) unless remote access subsidies, currently provided by senior governments, remain in place. This, despite the fact that all-weather roads would certainly bring benefits (both financial and social) to these communities (versus continued access only by dubious and very expensive air service).

As for the feds, it is clear that they will not agree to any plan unless entrenched federal vested interests (bureaucracy and FN suppliers) are sheltered. Consequently the feds are unlikely to support Queen’s Park.

What is odd about this rigid triangle of the “visionless” is that it has nothing to do with direct support for the Ring of Fire per se. To date the process has been all about standing, turf protection and pride of place. Whereas what is needed is a co-operative tripartite effort to make a joint plan which sets out, in clear terms, what needs to get done and by whom in order to deliver the Ring’s great potential to the people of Canada.

Today, after a decade of hot air and no agreement on anything, what we have is a miasma which reflects badly on all three participants. Perhaps the current authors of this miasma should reflect on how they plan to explain to the Canadian public how one of the greatest opportunities in Canadian mining history was destroyed.

For the original source of this letter to the editor, click here: http://www.chroniclejournal.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/the-frozen-triangle-of-the-visionless/article_489c948e-8756-11e6-adcb-27e06e750604.html

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