Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday July 5 2015
7:17 PM EDT
2014-01-30 at 20:25

Moving along

Bob Rae speaks to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Thursday night.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Bob Rae speaks to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Thursday night.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

Bob Rae says progress is being made in negotiations between Matawa Tribal Council and the province over the Ring of Fire.

Rae, lead negotiator for Matawa, said he and the province's lead Frank Iacobucci are in daily contact.

"I'm very happy with the progress we're making," he said before a speech to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Thursday evening.

There are still issues to address, which Rae says won't be negotiated in public, and the conversation is still all about setting the framework for the discussions, but the focus remains how to develop the area in a way that's sustainable for everyone involved.\

Infrastructure, from roads to hydro to broadband access for the nine Matawa communities, will also be key.

Rae said the fact that Cliffs Natural Resources have pulled out of the area just as Noront resources ramps up its proposal hasn't changed the discussion at all. Regardless of the project, the conversation is about improving conditions for First Nations communities in the North.

"These have been on the table now for quite awhile," he said.

There's also ongoing discussions with people in those communities about how development would impact and change their communities and building capacity so that those communities can make informed decisions.   

Speaking to the chamber crowd Rae said it's fashionable to blame governments, for governments to blame each other, or First Nations for development not moving ahead. But the reality is no one controls market prices, something that companies have to base major decisions on.

"There are issues in the marketplace that we don't conrol," he said.

New chamber chair Uli Walther, who was named Thursday at the chamber's annual general meeting, said First Nations are vital to the region and an important part of the development when it takes place.

"This is very important. Without them we can't do this," he said.

Hearing Rae speak to the chamber, Walther said he's confident that things would have moved a lot more quickly had Rae been involved earlier in the discussions.

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drdolittle says:
So.... issues won't be negotiated in public, and the conversation is still all about setting the framework for the discussions...So absolutely no progress has been made. I anticipate that people are being paid to lay the groundwork for an exciting new opportunity that has the potential to change the dynamic of our FN communities. Or in other words getting money for absolutely nothing.
1/31/2014 9:09:59 AM
trips says:
i just cant wrap around bob rae no matter who he represents or what party he may be a favorite of...I gotta feel sorry for the natives because they have been fooled by an ex politician who has already shown his true feathers...he will flip at a fresh breeze
1/30/2014 11:22:05 PM
ring of fire dude says:
I guess everybody forgot Rae is a Liberal .
1/30/2014 11:04:44 PM
deluxecustom says:
"Skyhigh" must be just that!! We dont need heros!! We need competant leaders that dont lie everytime they open their mouth!
OOPS!!We're talking about Rae here! He'll be the spokesman for deer ticks if he thought he could make a fast buck. He's no better than an ambulance chasing lawyer!!How does he even look at himself in the mirror every morning?
1/30/2014 10:32:43 PM
sky high says:
Do you not recognize sarcasm?
1/30/2014 11:02:19 PM
progress now says:
Bob Rae is not a fool.
1/30/2014 10:12:48 PM
sky high says:
Bob Rae is my hero. I hope First Nations are paying him a premium wage for his services. He can get the job done, yes he can
1/30/2014 9:20:21 PM
Tbfriend says:
This sounds like the same bs Rae spewed when he almost bankrupted the province. This is so positive.. They are making progress in negotiating the framework for negotiation... Did anyone catch what a load of bs that is. Lets face it, this thing will never happen - too many people want their cut... Can uou blame cliffs for pulling out?
1/30/2014 9:09:47 PM
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