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2014-07-03 at 17:25

Federal pressure

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
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THUNDER BAY -- The local chamber of commerce president wants the federal government to take the Ring of Fire seriously.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce along with seven other chambers across the province, including Thunder Bay, have written a letter to Minister of Natural Resources and FedNor Greg Rickford, who also represents the Kenora riding as a Member of Parliament. 

The letter is asking for the federal government to match the province’s commitment of $1 billion in funding for infrastructure in the Ring of Fire.

An Ontario chamber report released in February outlined $9 billion in potential economic activity over 10 years through the Ring of Fire and 5,500 jobs per year.

“We feel that’s a significant part of the Ontario economy,” said Charla Robinson, president of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.

“This isn’t just a northern issue,” she said. “We need the government at both levels to take it seriously.”

The chambers also don’t want to see the $1 billion come from the Building Canada Fund.
Robinson said there is a small pie available for that fund for the entire province and taking $1 billion from it would significantly impact other valuable projects.

“This is really a nationally significant project. It needs to be considered in that way when it comes to funding. It shouldn’t just be taken out of a regular infrastructure fund,” she said.

The letter, dated June 25, does recognize $5.9 million in funding from the federal government for the Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance and other contributions to the Northern Ontario Development Program and the Community Futures Program.

Robinson said they have yet to hear back from the minister, but it’s still early.

The chambers also plan to follow up with the minister; Robinson said in order to move the project forward, decisions need to be made more swiftly.

 

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Tbnewswatch.com(7)

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Comments

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lori says:
charla, one government is taking it seriously, the provincial one or did you not remember what you said moments earlier when you asked the Fed's to match the province.

our local folk are so used to just bashing that they can't even get through one story without negative comments towards the province.

How about this.

Minister Greg; The province is in for a billion. We need you folk in Ottawa to match the billion and let's get this thing going.

Tell your boss Steve that there is oil there as well.

That should be all you need in order to get the 1 billion or promise him a tory seat next election.

$5.9 million from the Fed's for Aboriginal Training, and programs. The province tips that much money up here.

We are the forgotten children of confederation from this Federal gov't. our two MP's have done nothing.

Let's see if the chamber has any influence or not.
7/3/2014 6:02:05 PM
ranma says:
We won't be getting federal money until we vote out Harper. He and his croonies have a habit of punishing areas that don't vote Conservative.
7/3/2014 6:02:41 PM
eventscentre says:
You're going to need a lot more than a skimpy billion after last weeks BC court ruling
7/3/2014 6:21:52 PM
Fred Brown says:
Ontario's Northern Policy Institutes's "The Airport/Port Transportation Authority Model: Is It Applicable for Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Development?" by Nick Mulder, chooses a "transportation authority" as opposed to a "provincial development corporation" model for the Ring of Fire.

Ontario created the NPI in August of 2012, with a $5 million commitment but Northern Ontario municipal groups and chambers of commerce have been demanding an independent policy think-tank since 2011.

KWG Resource's Port Authority model is based upon the simultaneous development of the "Southern" East West road integrated into the North South ONTC rail or pipeline.

It translates into the most economic, social and environmental transport infrastructure for Ontario.

The supply and delivery of chromium concentrate, ferrochrome, and nickel will meet a long term competitive world price through low cost rail and a new natural gas chromite reduction process.
7/3/2014 6:35:32 PM
jonthunder says:
Is Ontario backing away from its election unconditional promise of $1 billion? Does Ontario need more and if so how much? How much is industry putting into the pot? What are the total costs and projected revenues? What is the nature of the phantom development corporation; is there even a certain model in place? Have the First Nations firmly singed onto the project and at what cost and what is their investment? Who in their right minds would invest in such total uncertainty?
7/3/2014 10:23:32 PM
progress now says:
Fund the Ring of Fire AND the event centre? If given the choice, I wonder which one we should take?

Yes, life is about choices.
7/3/2014 11:38:55 PM
pc says:
Have we seen the cheque from the Liberal Government, yet?
Have we got signed documents saying there will be no work stopping protests from the First Nations?
Has industry come up with any money to add to the pot?
When these have all been seen to then go to the Federal Government. Until then it should be wait and see from the Feds.
Ontario has such a bad record of managing money why would anyone back them?
7/4/2014 10:42:29 AM
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