A presentation by NorOnt Resources top brass have created a stir with candidates running in the provincial byelection. NorOnt is to decide by the end of summer which of four Northern Ontario communities – Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins or Thunder Bay–Fort William – will become home to the first ferrochrome plant in North America to process the minerals from the far north Ring of Fire development.
NorOnt President and CEO Alan Coutts and Chief Development Officer Stephen Flewelling were in Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday making a presentation to Chamber of Commerce members and meeting with local officials.
Liberal candidate Debbie Amaroso, who met with the representatives, urged them to locate the smelter in Sault Ste. Marie. “I strongly encouraged NorOnt to locate their smelter in the Sault,” Amaroso said. “Based on the southern tip of Lake Superior, Sault Ste. Marie is the ideal location.”
She said the city’s highly skilled work force is available and well-paying jobs are needed in the community. NDP candidate Joe Krmpotich, a city councillor, urged Amaroso to speak out against Premier Kathleen Wynne and urge her to immediately invest in the Ring of Fire.
The province has dedicated $1 billion to the project, which Wynne said earlier this week is still available and dedicated to the infrastructure needed for the project.
Krmpotich argues that Wynne is “jeopardizing the opportunity for millions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs in our region. Sault Ste. Marie is poised to become the manufacturing hub for the development, but without interest and investment from the provincial government, we can’t even begin that conversation.”
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