Kenora Rainy-River MPP Greg Rickford is making his way back to the region after a successful mining conference in Toronto, as he works to transform Ontario’s mining industry.
Rickford - the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Energy, and Northern Development and Mines - spoke about the ongoing success and importance of the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Conference in Toronto, while at Queen’s Park this week.
He says that his goal is to once again make Ontario the premier mining destination in the country.
“We struck a mining working group that will be busy over the next couple of years to fundamentally transform a sector that sadly, has moved out of province, that is dispirited, and is calling on this government to reduce red tape, to make conditions more favourable, and to move Ontario into the position as the preferred destination to mine.”
Rickford says that he and his ministry have consulted and formed the working group with mining business leaders, First Nation communities, the finance sector, engineers, and mine operators to work towards this goal.
“In Ontario, mining matters. 26,000 direct jobs, 50,000 indirect jobs. In many instances, they build our towns in cities in northern Ontario. We are committed to make Ontario the destination to do mining business world-wide.”
Rickford wasn’t the only local politician lobbying for increased mining activity in the region. Sioux Lookout Mayor Doug Lawrance is part of a new coalition to lobby for the development of the East-West Ring of Fire Road, which could lead to a potential $60 billion mining opportunity.
As well as providing access to a substantial mineral chromite mine, the road would link a number of northwestern Ontario communities together, increasing access to services and decreasing northern isolation. Lawrance says that so far, the coalition and project has received ‘enormous support’.
Originally proposed by mining company Noront Resources Ltd., the East-West all-season passes close to Cat Lake, Mishkeegogomang, Lac Seul, Webequie, Nibinamik, Eabamatoong, Saugeen and Slate Falls
First Nations. Other adjacent communities include Sioux Lookout, Pickle Lake, Ignace and Dryden.
The coalition is currently seeking government support for the project, which would extend from Highway’s 599 and 72, extending north from the Trans-Canada Highway west of Thunder Bay to the Ring of Fire area.
For more information:
Ring of Fire route ‘needed now’, Lawrance