“Good progress” is being made at the bargaining table on a framework agreement between the Matawa Tribal Council and the provincial government on advancing the Ring of Fire, says former Ontario Premier Bob Rae, who represents the Council in the negotiations. But he warns that much work needs to be done and says he “refuses to give in to the sentiment that says this has got to be done in two weeks, or two months, or four months.”
“This has got to be done right and it has to be done in a way that shows real understanding and respect for the people whose lives are going to be more impacted than the lives of anyone in this room,” he said during a panel discussion Tuesday at the PDAC.
Rae argues that the First Nations have to be consulted in a way that is different from consultations that have taken place in the past. Ontario is a province that has relied extensively on mining for development for over 150 years, he points out, but “this development has taken place without particularly benefiting First Nations communities.”
When people talk about what has to be done so that this project or this part of Ontario is able to benefit from growth and prosperity, Rae says, “it’s really quite simple.” …
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