THUNDER BAY – Premier Kathleen Wynne is warning nine First Nations chiefs progress on the Ring of Fire needs to happen “in weeks, not months” and they “should not squander” her government’s $1 billion infrastructure commitment.
Wynne penned a letter to the chiefs of the Matawa First Nations earlier this week following a meeting held on May 1, the third meeting between the two parties since last October to attempt to spur the potentially lucrative mining development forward.
“My government announced $1 billion to support infrastructure into the Ring of Fire three years ago and if we are going to deliver on that we can delay no further,” Wynne wrote in the letter, which was sent to local media by the premier’s office on Friday.
“We should not squander the opportunity to build all-season roads and set the stage for future social and economic growth for communities that are supportive.”
Mention of that $1 billion was noticeably absent from the provincial budget unveiled late last month, though acting Northern Development and Mines Minister Bill Mauro insisted the money is still available.