SIOUX LOOKOUT – Sarah Campbell, MPP Kenora-Rainy River, says she wants to work with municipalities to help improve conditions in northern communities. Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Kenora District Municipal Association Feb. 3, Campbell outlined a number of areas where she is looking to work with municipalities including healthcare, mining development, municipal infrastructure and social service funding. “I believe we share a common interest, which is setting the conditions for our communities to thrive and I hope all of you are willing to work with me to accomplish that goal”.
During her speech Campbell noted that many municipal leaders, healthcare professionals and clinics have stated that the current system is not working for northern communities and reiterated her call for Health Minister Deb Matthews to visit the riding to conduct an audit of the current system. On mining, Campbell stated the province has been delaying development in the Ring of Fire, which is preventing new jobs from reaching northern communities.
“I’ve talked with a number of stakeholders, including First Nations and mining companies and the message they’re giving me is the province is delaying development,” she stated. “They’re telling me the province has been slow to complete environmental assessments and process paperwork and that those delays are becoming significant barriers to development.”
Campbell added that “The province has not held meaningful consultations with affected First Nations, despite clear indications that First Nations communities are willing to work with the province and mining companies to move development forward”.
“You can even ask the mining companies and they will tell you: the First Nations aren’t the problem. The province is. The province needs to come to the table and start acting in good faith, and as of right now they’re not doing that.”