THUNDER BAY – Today, the Chiefs of the Matawa First Nations (MFN) presented to the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (SC-FEA), saying that certainty from First Nations is the key to the emerging Northern Ontario economy.
The presentation was made by Chief Harvey Yesno of Eabametoong First Nation, and Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation on behalf of the Matawa Chiefs Council. It is the second time a presentation was made to a Standing Committee of the Ontario legislature. The pre-budget submission pre-budget submission included these main points:
- The true potential of the development of the North of Ontario may perhaps be in the trillions of dollars and must be considered in its full potential for wealth creation and revenue generation that will benefit First Nations, government and industry as a whole.
- The development of the north will be multi-generational and international in scope.
- Certainty from First Nations is the key to the emerging northern economy.
Specific Recommendations to Advance Both First Nation and Ontario Economies Forward:
- The Province of Ontario consider Matawa member First Nations as equitable partners and develop a comprehensive approach to wealth creation and revenue generation.
- Discussions on a government-to-government basis must include timeframes for specific deliverables and points of agreement to advance the Matawa member First Nation and Ontario economies forward.
- The current realities of the north and remote First Nations must be a priority to be addressed and that any economic plans are designed to produce immediate and tangible improvements in the quality of life and reduce the high cost of living for Matawa First Nation families and members. This must be a joint effort and priority of First Nations and the government of Ontario for the development of the north and the emerging northern economy.
Opportunities to comment will close on Friday, January 24, 2020, at 6:00 pm. The Matawa Chiefs Council look forward to the Standing Committee’s report and outcomes to be reflected in Ontario Budget 2020.