Ontario has appointed former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci as lead negotiator in discussions with First Nations communities on resource developments in the Ring of Fire.
Iacobucci said in a news release he looks forward to community-based discussions with the chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council, who have appointed their own lead negotiator in former federal Liberal interim leader Bob Rae.
Iacobucci said he hopes to be invited to visit the Matawa First Nations communities closest to the proposed developments in the Ring of Fire area before getting into more formal negotiations.
His priorities includes:
-Environmental protection and monitoring
-Regional infrastructure planning and development
-Resource revenue sharing
-Social and economic supports
Iacobucci will report directly to Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle and will be supported by the Ring of Fire Secretariat.
More on the Ring of FireThe Ring of Fire, located 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, includes the largest deposit of chromite ever discovered in North America.
Chromite is a key ingredient used to create stainless steel.
The Ring of Fire also holds the potential for significant production of nickel, copper and platinum.
The mining sector is already the largest private sector employer of Aboriginals in Canada.
Ontario leads all provinces and territories in mineral exploration, with 23 per cent of the country’s exploration investment located within the province.