A new report out today is taking a closer look at the relationships between mining companies, the government and First Nations communities when it comes to development of the Ring of Fire.
The report, called Missed Opportunities, Glimmers of Hope was written by Heather Hall and Ken Coates. Coates is a senior fellow with the MacDonald-Laurier Institute and Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation.
He calls the project one of Canada’s most remarkable mineral deposits. The Ring of Fire is a huge mineral deposit of chromite, nickel, gold, copper and platinum discovered in 2007. It’s located in a remote area in northern Ontario with limited access. Even though it was discovered a decade ago, Coates says not much has happened so far in developing the project, beyond talks between First Nations communities and mining companies.
“The Indigenous communities in northern Ontario, particularly the ones north of the Great Lakes are among the poorest in Canada,” he said.
“Why would they [Indigenous communities] support resource projects that are for the benefit of the province or the country as a whole when the country and the province haven’t in their view, kept up with their obligations to the communities themselves.”
Coates says the onus shouldn’t be completely on the mining companies to move the project forward.
“It’s not really fair to ask a mining company through a major project development to address what is really more than a century of government shortcomings in terms of providing resources, supplies and infrastructure,” he said.
For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/ring-of-fire-first-nations-consultation-1.4120707