Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell is standing up for jobs in Northwestern Ontario by introducing a motion intended to speed up economic growth in the “Ring of Fire.”
Last Thursday, Campbell introduced a motion, influenced by Quebec’s highly-successful Plan du Nord, that would replace the Far North Act with new legislation intended to set the conditions necessary for mining to thrive.
Quebec’s plan has been credited with meeting the needs of both mining companies and First Nations in the province’s north, which now is experiencing strong economic growth due to mining activity.
“The Liberal government didn’t listen to northerners and First Nations in Northern Ontario when they introduced the Far North Act,” said Campbell.
“Getting this right will help create economic opportunities and job creation in Northern Ontario, and make sure the benefits are shared with the people who live here,” she argued.
In addition to calling for consultations, Campbell’s motion proposes additional funding for First Nations’ land use planning, a joint co-ordinating body between First Nations and government, a resource revenue-sharing model, and the end to the provision that allows the government to overrule land use plans unilaterally.
After listening to her constituency, Campbell spoke at Queen’s Park last Thursday against a Conservative private member’s bill that would scrap the Far North Act without consultation, leaving nothing in its place—an action municipalities and First Nations have spoken out against.
“The Far North Act doesn’t work for the people who live here, but scrapping it altogether will destabilize economic development in the region,” Campbell explained.
“I’ve put forward a positive and constructive proposal aimed at ensuring a stable path forward for job creation and development in the north.”
Campbell’s full remarks on the Far North Act can be viewed online at www.youtube.com/krrndp