THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Following on a statement released by NDP candidate Yuk-Sem Won who is running in the Thunder Bay Rainy-River Riding on a proposed mine in Minnesota, incumbent Liberal MP Don Rusnak has released the following statement regarding concerns about the potential impacts of the proposed Twin Metals Mine in Northern Minnesota on the Canadian Boundary Waters:
As a person who was born, raised and is now raising his family in Northwestern Ontario, I have a deep understanding of the importance of the Boundary Waters. It is an area that is vitally important to all those in our region. From the camps and communities between Rainy River and Thunder Bay, thousands of lives and livelihoods depend on the pristine nature of the region. My community of Lac des Mille Lac is currently rebuilding in the watershed – our history in the area is ancient. That is why I and this Government are absolutely committed to protecting our water from any threat that could damage the health, safety or culture of any community in our region. We will not allow our water to be put at risk.
This Government has been in ongoing discussions with federal and state officials in the United States in regards to the Twin Metals Mine project. The project is still early in its proposal stage and has yet to receive approval from state and federal regulators in the US. However, we have requested that we be formally consulted on this project as it has the potential to impact the Canadian Boundary Waters, and that any of our concerns be fully addressed.
We are confident we can work with our American friends to make sure resource development is done in a responsible way that protects the environment and respects Indigenous rights. I have personally met with my American congressional counterpart, Representative Pete Stauber of Minnesota’s 8thDistrict, in Washington, DC this past May to talk about this project and reaffirm Canada’s belief in environmentally sound natural resource development.
Spreading fear and false information about this Government’s engagement is damaging to our great relationship with our cross-border partners. Agreements are in place to protect this region and the only way to ensure that protection, is to work together with our partners to ensure resource development is done in a responsible manner.