THUNDER BAY – “The development corporation is a vital step towards building the much-needed infrastructure that is critical to realizing the full potential of the Ring of Fire,” states Michael Gravelle, the Minister of Northern Development and Mines. “It is a key building block to achieving our mutual goals of unlocking regional economic growth and benefitting from value- added opportunities like mineral processing and job creation”.
“I have confidence that this team will guide us through this initial, and necessary phase of the ROF Infrastructure Development Corporation, and I am encouraged by the work that is already underway to bring together First Nations, key industry players, communities and the federal government as partners. Together we can find the best ways to move forward so we can all tap into the extraordinary potential of the Ring of Fire.”
The Ontario Government has taken another step to drive progress in the Ring of Fire region, delivering on its July 3, 2014 commitment to establish a development corporation within 60 days.
The Ontario Government has invited federal government participation in this effort. Sources tell NetNewsLedger that right now the federal government is not on board, but are looking at the project to see what parts of development they would be willing to invest in.
With headquarters to be located in Thunder Bay, the ROF Infrastructure Development Corporation will work to bring First Nations and the public and private sectors together to create partnerships and facilitate investment decisions in strategic transportation infrastructure.
In a statement issued by the Ministry, “The not-for-profit corporation has an interim board of four Ontario public servants. The board will put the necessary structures in place in order to allow for partners to determine their participation in the corporation”.
“This includes working with key partners including First Nations, industry, communities, and the federal government, to formalize partnerships through the corporation, and overseeing an economic and technical baseline feasibility report on transportation infrastructure”.
As participation in the corporation evolves, the Board of Directors will be broadened to include membership from First Nations and industry partners. In its mature state, the corporation will be in a position to advise on crucial infrastructure investment decisions, including how to best utilize Ontario’s $1 billion dollar commitment to Ring of Fire infrastructure.