Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Federal NDP deputy leader Megan Leslie.
The federal NDP are heading into the Ring of Fire.
Deputy leader and environment critic Megan Leslie (NDP, Halifax) is one of several MPs in Thunder Bay Thursday before taking a trip to communities near the Ring of Fire.
Leslie said the proposed development will make a national impact on everything from First Nations rights to natural resources to the environment.
"We're here really on a learning tour," Leslie said.
Leslie said the MPs want to take what they learn back to Parliament Hill to put pressure on the federal government, which she said has only paid lip service to the development so far despite saying it is a priority.
"Why now? Because we've waited long enough," she said. "I don't know where they are on this."
While there are many challenges, Leslie said a start to the federal government's leadership role is as simple as getting everyone to the table to start talking.
"We can't just sit around and magically think this is going to happen," she said.
Duty to consult First Nations, environmental and natural resources concerns are in the jurisdiction of the federal government she said.
The NDP are holding a public meeting at the Oliver Road Community Centre on First Nations, environmental and energy issues Thursday evening.