QUEENS PARK – POLITICS – The Ontario Government state that they are taking action to create a path forward for economic development in the Far North of Ontario.
As announced in the Fall Economic Statement, the Ontario government has been reviewing the Far North Act with the goal of reducing red tape and restrictions on important economic development projects in the Far North including the Ring of Fire, all-season roads and electrical transmission projects for communities.
“We have heard time and again that the Act limits development in the Far North of Ontario, where there is so much potential for economic growth and prosperity,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “That’s why we are moving quickly with the intention of building a path forward that supports business certainty while continuing to work closely with First Nations communities at an advanced stage of planning.”
As the next step of the review, the government is seeking input on a proposal to repeal the Far North Act, amend the Public Lands Act to continue approved community-based land use plans, and, for a time-limited period, enable completion of the planning process for communities that are at an advanced planning stage.
The proposal has been posted on the Environmental Registry for a 45-day consultation period inviting Indigenous communities and groups, business and other stakeholders to have their say on the Far North Act and how to collaboratively open the Far North of Ontario up for development.
The move to repeal the Far North Act, a piece of legislation passed by the Ontario Government under then Premier Dalton McGuinty was opposed at the time by the then Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy.