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NEWS: Ontario’s Far North Act threatens crucial wetlands

The Ottawa Citizen reports today that, “Native leaders are worried they will lose control over traditional lands under the (Ontario government’s) proposed Far North Act, which is on the verge of passing. The legislation opens half the northern boreal region — about 42 per cent of the province — to development such as the kind being planned in the so-called Ring of Fire, a pristine 5,000-square-kilometre swath of land set to be mined for its rich ore deposits. Native leaders were at Queen’s Park on Thursday to demand the bill be halted.”

In March, CTV reported that, “Open Ontario will also include plans to help northern residents and First Nations develop what may be the largest chromite deposit in the world, the Ring of Fire in the northwest.”

Chromite is a mineral used to make stainless steel.
Council of Canadians Ontario-Quebec organizer Mark Calzavara notes that Ontario Nature has raised concerns about this mining that would take place 240 kilometres west of James Bay and northeast of Thunder Bay. They say, “The Ring of Fire threatens an environmental disaster that could be likened to a mini-Tar-Sands.” They also explain that, “Beyond the northern reaches of the forest lies tundra, which supports one of the earth’s largest, continuous wetlands, and through which half of Canada’s largest dozen rivers drain.”

The article is at http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/ready+fight+over+north+natives+tell+province/3536914/story.html#ixzz0zmhlGkVZ. More on the Ring of Fire’s threat to crucial wetlands is at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2983.