Tbnewswatch Local News
Friday July 3 2015
6:41 AM EDT
2014-02-14 at 14:47

Forward progress?

Michael Gravelle makes an announcement Friday morning.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Michael Gravelle makes an announcement Friday morning.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

The province has hired a company to build its Ring of Fire development corporation and study proposed infrastructure projects in the area.

Announced late last year, the development corporation is looking to bring to together government, First Nations and industry to figure out the best way to build infrastructure to get in and out of the $60 billion region.

While no partners have signed on so far, Northern Development and Mines minister Michael Gravelle announced Friday that Deloitte LLP has been chosen to reach out to potential partners and out together the legal framework for the corporation and how it will be governed.

"We think this will actually help us move forward," Gravelle said.

Deloitte will also take a look at the various infrastructure projects proposed for the area and put together a technical report. Gravelle wouldn't say whether that report would be made public or if it would be making recommendations. The company will provide neutral, third-party expertise he said.

Noront Resources vice-president of Aboriginal affairs Glenn Nolan said it's a good idea to bring the company on board in order to get some clarity and direction in the Ring of Fire.

"We'd like to see the idea move forward, to advance. That's our only issue," he said.

As the only company that has a feasibility study done, as well as a submitted Environmental Assessment with a proposed East-West Road from Pickle Lake, they should be considered as the primary option when it comes to infrastructure.

"We're the only company that actually has anything of substance," he said.

Along with resource development, helping First Nations communities have access to that infrastructure is key.     

Opposition parties criticized the announcement as all talk and no action. In a media release, NDP Northern Development and Mines critic Michael Mantha said it's about consulting firms profiting while mining companies and First Nations communities are sidelined.

Progressive Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli (PC, Nipissing) says in the three months since the corporation was announced, no progress has been made.

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yqtyqt says:
Let me state that Mikie is a likeable enough guy. But his effectiveness as a senior minister in this Lieberal gov't has stretched too far. Quite frankly, he blew it. Blame it on anything you want.

With that fact up for discussion, so is his continued support of voters. Perhaps Mikie should call it a day. He can find comfort in the retired politicians club.

With the recent BUY-elections in southern Ontario behind us and with the Libs tanking again, it's time to look for a new strategy to get Ontario back into the "has" province column, not the "has not province".

We need a fresh start in Ontario.

The Libs days are numbered. Not even Wynne with her feeble Toronto-centric can pull this one out of the fire.
2/18/2014 11:48:01 AM
The Beaver..... says:
Well captain lets look at the facts.
Cliffs stated in the very early stages that a Smelter would have to be in Quebec because of the high cost of hydro power in Ontario. That was at a time wen they should have said nothing. Then they overlooked the fact that some other little outfit had staked the only way out and left them locked in. Cliffs insistence that only a Road out would do was only based on the fact that they wanted Ontario to build and pay for the road and its maintenance. The more practical way to move Ore up there is obviously by rail
but that would have been their own expense. Cliffs constantly played the two sides to the middle and in the end dropped the ball. One more little item to add to the problem. Russia now produces a Pig Iron derivative that the Chinese use instead of chromium to produce Stainless Steele and ship it to China by rail. Add he Native issue to all of this and Michaels incompetence and there you have it.
2/17/2014 8:43:29 AM
countryboy123 says:
Why is Gravelle unsure if Deloitte's report will be made public? Should it not be public info if the public is paying for it?
I suspect that he is afraid that the report will be critical of the Gov't development of this project so far!
2/16/2014 12:20:19 PM
mystified says:
This is a mining venture. The government should keep it's nose out of this fiasco. The mining companies will get the cream of the top. The government can run some training programs but when it comes to the mining and development leave it to the people who know which end of a shovel to hold.
2/16/2014 12:16:44 PM
captain says:
i am by no means supporting Gravel but the misinformation that appears here continues to surprise me and likely anyone that has a clue.

Cliffs did not pull out because of power rates. The industrial rate has not changed and in reality has been reduced by the government. Cliff's was going to set up shop here knowing what the rates were for the past 5 years.

Maybe a lack of progress on securing access with native leaders or other private companies played a part, but certainly a low commodity price and the lack of any real expertise by Cliff's in this area played a huge role including their incredible reduction in share price. The new head of Cliff's pulled them back to their core business and that did not include this development.

There are players still up there. Like any mining development the success has to be measured in a decade or two, not in a few years.
2/16/2014 9:07:35 AM
pc says:
Mike is disappointed the Feds said nothing about the Ring in the budget.
Could that be so if anything goes wrong with the plan they have someone else to blame?
The Libs have never taken any blame for any of their fiascoes. Gas plants, lorange, lack of medical money, mills closing almost daily until they are all but gone along with the jobs.
They still blame the conservatives (Mike Harris) and since the voters have finally wised up to that scam they now blame Mr. Harper. Why would the Feds want to have anything to do with this Lib blame game government.
Right now Ont. is mad at him, if he loses tax money from all of Canada would not be so good.
So liberals please fix your own mess or call an election so we can maybe even in this NW area get a government that might actually be competent.
The conservative says controversial things but at least she says them. Mike and Mauro simply babble the liberal stand.
2/16/2014 6:42:29 AM
The Beaver..... says:
Michael Gravell is one of the smoothest glad handing politicians you will ever meet he can put Barnum to shame.
I said on here a long time ago it takes a Shaker and mover to put this together Politian's that come with no incentive and expertise will never get this going. Look at the likes of our local members Schoolteachers including Michael. Hobbs fits right in with that 5000 new jobs statement. The College got all hot and bothered to produce Miners right away. These are supposed to be sane leaders. When Cliffs share price went from 86 dollar to 27 and it was known that they had problems our Piet Pipers never seen that coming. And then there was Stan the leader of the Brigade that seen nothing but gold in the land of Caribou. That did not turn out real well for him either. Fact is with Ontario's Power rates we
have become undesirable to say the least on top of that is the fact that there is lots of chromium in the world being mined today.

2/15/2014 8:44:44 AM
Robert Smithers says:

""We think this will actually help us move forward," Gravelle said."

No Michael, the only thing that will do that is an election.
2/15/2014 5:55:28 AM
nvjgu says:
Mike, what exactly is it that you do all day since you have been in office. I surely would like to be with you for while just to see what it is that you do for the money you are being paid other than talking saying things like there's a lot of work to be done or working closely or work together. Nothing ever seam's to get done, what ever that is.
2/15/2014 1:47:34 AM
progress now says:
Interesting comment:

"Considering the magnitude of this project, do you have any idea how ridiculous this all is?"

There has been mining fever in Northern Ontario since before Fort William and Port Arthur. It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.

You can mine anything you want, but can it be done cheaply enough to mine quantity enough to transport economically enough to process inexpensively enough to market competitively enough to make it feasible? And there is the rub.

These are business/economic concerns - in other words real life concerns. The partisan politics arising out of all this are rooted in the world of political self-interest and has little concern with reality - its a struggle for political power.

Miners will play government against government, party against party, and municipality against municipality to maximize the flow of tax dollars into their operations. Our tax dollars are their dividends.

Lets wake up, and stop acting like chumps.

2/14/2014 11:27:44 PM
S Duncan says:
there is nothing "forward" or "progressive" about more government and certain group interference with this project.

The liberals killed it by their spineless vote buying tactics.
2/14/2014 11:17:24 PM
Arch Stanton says:
"While no partners have signed on so far..."

And that, amigos, is all you need to hear about this latest Government "initiative"...

They truly are clueless.
2/14/2014 8:57:27 PM
moi says:
The Ring Of Fire...
the hemmoroid that is-- "The Ring Of Nothing", just a whole lotta pain in the rear.
2/14/2014 8:07:02 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Free Money !! Free Money !! Line up and get your free money from The Wynne Government !!!
2/14/2014 4:47:52 PM
Whodo says:

How many years has it taken to get to this point?? What are you doing Michael? Considering the magnitude of this project, do you have any idea how ridiculous this all is? What business in their right mind would want to deal with the likes of this government!
2/14/2014 4:28:05 PM
jonthunder says:
Yes, one would tend to think this is what the Ontario government should have been doing for at least the last few years. But, given that Ontario has proven to be inept at such matters, it is best to bite the bullet and bring in a credible firm to get the job done. But with reports in hand; will Ontario be able to navigate and negotiate to successful and wise conclusions? We can always hope for the best; beats just walking away from the needed and obvious opportunities.
2/14/2014 3:59:03 PM
The Beaver..... says:
Michael wont be there anyway he and his cohorts have screwed this up so badly they now need help to even see what they have screwed up
2/14/2014 3:51:59 PM
Robert Smithers says:
There must be a possibility of a spring election on the horizon because they are hiring someone to pick up the ball they dropped. About 2 years to late to pretend to care isn't it Michael?
We will never see this thing happen, someone coined it right when they called it the "ring of smoke and mirrors"
2/14/2014 3:29:02 PM
Chaos says:
Isn't what Deloitte LLP is doing is what the province and its civil service supposed to be doing? Gee can I hire a consultant to do my job? Time for action not another report.
2/14/2014 2:55:37 PM
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