Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday July 7 2015
9:11 AM EDT
2014-07-10 at 11:40

Corporate approach

The Northern Policy Institute’s Nick Mulder suggests an airport or port authority model might work best for the Ring of Fire development corporation.
Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
The Northern Policy Institute’s Nick Mulder suggests an airport or port authority model might work best for the Ring of Fire development corporation.
By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Nick Mulder would like to see less provincial and federal government and more community and corporate involvement as Ring of Fire development moves forward.

Mulder, who helped create the country’s airport and port authority model, said an arm’s length body based on that set-up is the best way to finalize plans for roads, railroads and other infrastructure needed to make the development a reality.

“It allows the local people, the local interests to make most of the final decisions without having the federal or provincial governments involved,” said Mulder, who delivered highlights of his paper Thursday morning to an audience of industry, business and municipal leaders.

“You’d set up an authority with representatives and a board of directors to represent all of the people in the community. They make the decisions as to what the priorities are, what the investment plans ought to be, how to finance it, how to manage it and so on.”

Governments shouldn’t be in the business of mine development and instead focus on other priorities, letting the stakeholders have the final say.

As someone who has served as a deputy minister at Transport Canada and dealt with Crown corporations, too much bureaucracy and political involvement doesn’t often lead to success, he said, pointing to Air Canada as an example.

“They have to approve all the plans, they have to raise all the money. Government being involved in those kinds of things is passé. You should let local communities, the business sector and in this case, the Aboriginal communities, make all the decisions.”

Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said he spoke to Mulder on Wednesday and made it clear the province has no idea what the finalized development corporation’s structure will actually look like.

It may not be a Crown corporation at all, he said.

“The fact is, we have not made a decision on what is the best model to move forward for the development corporation,” said Gravelle, whose government has already set aside $1 billion to cover a portion of the infrastructure costs in the Ring of Fire.

“What we’re keen on is to bring in the important partners in the project.”

That would include industry, First Nations and both the provincial and federal governments.

“We think ultimately that is the best model moving forward,” Gravelle said.

Mulder said while government contributions are nice, they come with caveats, and there are other examples across the country, including Newfoundland and Labrador’s Voisey’s Bay mine, where government involvement was limited and the private sector raised 90 per cent of the infrastructure money.

The risk is thus transferred to the private sector, he said, noting the British Columbia government once spent $300 million building a rail line to entice mining companies that never came.

Mulder stressed the socio-economic issues facing those same Aboriginal communities are not part of his authority model plan. Those should be solved by outside agencies and within the First Nations themselves, and are a separate issue.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s Dean Cromarty said his people certainly want a say in how the Ring of Fire unfolds.

“I think the first voice should be from the First Nation people there to say where they want the band development to go, where they want the transmission lines to go,” he said.

“NAN has not taken a formal position on any of this. We have a lot of work to do before we can finalize any concept.”

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs listened intently, and said there was a lot to like about the plan as presented.

“Who’s going to run this development corporation is a huge issue,” he said.
But whatever it looks like, it needs to get moving, Hobbs added.

“We’ve done enough talking now. We’ve got to get this development corporation formed and the airport and port authority model is a good model. We’ll see what the provincial government has to say about it.”

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We've improved our comment system.
The Beaver..... says:
Lori 2)
Now lets examine Mr.Gravell's record in the region.
He single handily killed Buchan instead of working with them to find a solution
He Bungled Terrace bay not only once but twice.
He screwed up Global sticks by telling them to get their wood from some unknown little Liberal guy in Murillo
and that after he gave Global a million.
He has now been screwing around the Ring of Fire for 5 years with absolutely no results, and he will never bring that to a conclusion.
He has been screwing around the 4 lanes of the Trans Canada for years and finally got a clover leaf build where no one ever needed one in the first place. Not much to be proud off
Lori "is there "
7/13/2014 8:30:38 PM
The Beaver..... says:
Lori you should not be so proud of the Liberal accomplishment.. and here is why.
this year's deficit to grow to $12.5 billion ($1.2 billion higher than last year's projection). At $12.5 billion, Ontario's deficit will be larger than the combined deficits of the federal and all provincial governments. And while the government maintains it will balance the budget in 2017/18, without any meaningful reforms or spending reductions, the plan lacks serious credibility.
Seven consecutive years of deficit spending has fuelled growing government debt. Ontario's debt will hit $289.3 billion this year and is projected to reach $324.5 billion (almost 40 per cent of Ontario's economy) by 2017/18, more than double the $138.8 billion debt or 27.5 per cent of the economy) in 2003/04 when the Liberals came to power.
Once you comprehend these numbers then you must agree there is something very
wrong here, and your Liberal love affair does not cut it. Its easy to spend the Tax Payers money including yours
7/13/2014 8:13:23 PM
lori says:
and right on cue, the trolling critics are there to lay waste to anything and everything liberal.

given the recent election and given that the Liberals will have governed for 15 years. do you think it might be time to recognize that your view point is the minority, especially around here given that both Mr. Gravelle and Mr. Mauro won the elections with over 50% of the votes cast.

Can you just not lick your wounds and move on to another topic for a month or two.
7/12/2014 8:44:05 AM
The Beaver..... says:
The Minister in charge of this Project is ill equipped to bring it to a successful and prolific end.
Before its over he will have bungled this undertaking like anything else he has ever touched.
He does not posses the insight and the knowledge,in fact he does not know what the far North consists off and neither do the Civil servants that have never ever left the bright lights off Toronto and are his helpers.
Together they have managed to hitch their wagon on Cliffs and not realizing that they were dealing
with a company in severe decline that was out to milk the Ontario Tax Payer.
7/11/2014 11:04:08 AM
tsb says:
Additional pessimistic comment about the situation.
7/10/2014 6:18:17 PM
Enquirer says:
Log in to one of my numerous TBNewswatch trolling accounts to reply to my own initial comment, in complete agreement, with obligatory "Hit the nail on the head!!!" introductory statement.
7/11/2014 12:18:24 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Corporate involvement ? LMAO ! More like Corporate welfare . The Govt is the only entity with unlimited funds to put a road through 200 miles of near bottomless swamp .It's cheaper to go north and truck the ore through Attiwapiskat , then by ship to China , at least they can get the rock from the diamond mines for the road .
7/10/2014 4:12:20 PM
pc says:
Since when does the government have unlimited funds?
Hopefully this time around the gov. will admit it can't be spend happy. I don't hold out much of that attitude though.
The corporations want to do the mining and reap the benefits for themselves and their employees, then let them build the road or what ever.
Let them deal with the native issues and get on with making everyone money.
The gov. has had years to step up to the plate and they fumble at every corner.
The train tracks were put through the bottomless swamps around Sudbury so why wouldn't they be able to do it here?
Where there is a will there is a way.
7/11/2014 12:08:27 PM
jonthunder says:
This learned gentleman has put some very well reasoned thoughts forward for consideration. They should be very seriously considered in the decision making process. His thoughts are the most lucid/clearest I have heard so far.
7/10/2014 3:44:39 PM
glass half full says:
With ALL the expert opinions out there that seem to have the answers ( IM NOT SAYING I DO )
Why is this project such a mess?

All of these guys remind me of a couch hockey coach. They have all the answers but no say in the way the team plays. If thy are that smart they would be directly involved and make the play.

Nothing but people collecting a pay check and talking out of their behind.

7/10/2014 3:06:22 PM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
"Nick Mulder would like to see less provincial and federal government and more community and corporate involvement as Ring of Fire"

and many would like to see the price of beer & gas go down.
7/10/2014 12:12:24 PM
Cletus Van Damme says:
Trust No One.
7/10/2014 12:00:29 PM
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