Ring of Fire road study needs wider lens, environmental group says – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – March 2, 2015)
“No one is saying, ‘Holy cannolis, what are all the plans for the region for the next 20 – 30 years?’”
Government funding for a $785,000 study of a road to the Ring of Fire is a “welcome move” for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, but the environmental group says more needs to be done to look at the region-wide impacts of the proposed mining development in northern Ontario.
The federal and provincial governments announced Sunday that they’ll jointly fund a study looking at a road that would connect the remote Webequie, Eabametoong, Nibinamik and Neskantaga First Nations to the provincial highway at Pickle Lake, Ont. about 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.
The environmental group hopes it acts as a “springboard” for further study and a comprehensive, region-wide development plan for the nickel and chromite deposits in northern Ontario’s James Bay lowlands.
“Once a road goes in, it has a whole cascade of effects,” said Anna Baggio, the Ontario planning director for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Wildlands League. “There are alternatives in terms of where these roads could go and that needs to be looked at and fully costed and accounted for in a transparent way.” Read the rest of this entry »