THUNDER BAY – Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli remains adamant that bungling and inaction within the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines is delaying the Ring of Fire mining development. On Friday, Fedeli was shocked when the government coordinator for the development, Ring of Fire Secretariat Dr. Christine Kaszycki, admitted to him she has never actually stepped foot on the Ring of Fire despite having been on the job for 18 months.
Fedeli is convinced this is the reason for the delays at the Ring of Fire. “There is more than one company working there,” Fedeli pointed out. “I was at a presentation a year ago where the ‘development date’ was shown as 2015; Friday’s presentation in North Bay by Noront Resources now shows a development date by 2016. Clearly the lack of action by the government has caused delays.”
Rather than express concern at the revelation, Minister Rick Bartolucci tried to divert attention from the issue. But in doing so, he admitted that 2015 is only a “working date” set by Cliffs Resources, one of the main companies working on the project, and that “a lot of work, including environmental assessments, still has to be done.” (Sudbury Star, Jan. 27, 2012)
“There is more than one company working there,” Fedeli pointed out. “I was at a presentation a year ago where the ‘development date’ was shown as 2015; Friday’s presentation in North Bay by Noront Resources now shows a development date by 2016. Clearly the lack of action by the government has caused delays.” Fedeli added “Bartolucci needs to start doing his job to ensure this vital development proceeds on time instead of resorting to playground insults and tired rhetoric. When you can’t discredit the facts, you try to shoot the messenger. That’s why people hate politics,” Fedeli said.
“The real issue remains that Dalton McGuinty’s own Ring of Fire Secretariat has never actually been to the Ring of Fire. In fact, she should have an office there!” Fedeli exclaimed.
A spokesperson for Minister Bartolucci states, “Dr. Christine Kaszycki is an eminently qualified sector expert who enjoys our government’s full support. Our government is working hard to make the Ring of Fire a reality, and Dr. Kaszycki is an integral part of that process. There are no delays associated with the project and the McGuinty government will do what it can to maximize the benefits from the Ring of Fire for the people of Ontario”.
“I’ve been there — and what I saw prompted me to organize a sales mission there for my Nipissing riding manufacturers,” added Fedeli. “Doesn’t that sound like something a Ring of Fire co-ordinator should have been doing for Ontario companies?”