We have recently submitted a letter to the federal government to urge them to commit to physical infrastructure funding for Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire resource development opportunity.
Significant steps have been taken in Ontario to set the stage for future development of this resource- rich region. In November 2014, the Government of Ontario announced the creation of a development corporation to oversee the development and maintenance of Ring of Fire infrastructure. In April 2014, the provincial government and the Matawa member First Nations Chiefs signed a regional framework agreement to guide future negotiations regarding Ring of Fire development. The Ring of Fire has also been a prominent election issue in Ontario, with all parties committing to the development of this critical region.
To date, the federal government has been active in supporting economic development in the region. We are encouraged by the federal government’s $5.9 million investment in the Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance, which provides people from the Matawa First Nations with the skills and training necessary to capitalize on future mining developments. We also recognize the numerous other contributions to economic development that the federal government has made through programs such as the Northern Ontario Development Program and the Community Futures Program.
To sustain the momentum of these federal and provincial actions, the Ring of Fire requires a more substantial federal contribution. We urge the federal government to match provincial commitments towards the development of physical infrastructure in the region.