THUNDER BAY – Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is headed to Thunder Bay to the Bombardier manufacturing plant. The Premier will be in the city on Friday. Heading north, it appears that northern issues have been on the Premier’s mind this week. In what the Toronto Star is calling a “secret meeting”, McGuinty met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The two leaders spoke, according to a report in the Toronto Star about the need for the federal and provincial governments to come together to make the Ring of Fire happen.
The “secret meeting” has the opposition NDP admonishing the Premier over ignoring First Nations leaders in the development and discussion processes in making the Ring of Fire happen.
From the Toronto Star – “The two men talked about the Ring of Fire “a great deal” with McGuinty noting Ontario needs help building roads, electricity lines and training local First Nations peoples for the thousands of jobs that would be available in mining and related fields.
” “I impressed upon the Prime Minister we have a great natural resource in our own province, right here in our own backyard, that we need to develop together,” said McGuinty, whose cash-strapped government needs resource revenues to bolster its bottom line.”
The Ontario Government came under fire with the announcement by Cliffs Natural Resources that the processing of minerals mined in the Ring of Fire will be located near Sudbury. Officials in Thunder Bay and First Nations leaders were angered by the move.
First Nations leaders have been demanding that the McGuinty Government include them in discussions about development on their traditional lands.