Originally published in Northern Ontario Buisness
Protecting the peatlands, respecting Indigenous rights are paramount issues for Ottawa, according to Jonathan Wilkinson
Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Ottawa and the provinces must work together to expedite the regulatory and permitting processes that bring new mines into production in a timely way.
But federal approvals for this industrial developments won’t be granted at the expense of cutting corners from an environmental perspective and in a manner that disrespects the rights of Indigenous people and communities.
Wilkinson was in Vancouver Dec. 9 reiterating his government’s previously announced critical minerals strategy and the available $3.8 billion in federal funding for initiatives and projects related to exploration, minerals processing, manufacturing and recycling.
With U.S. and international electric vehicle and clean energy companies desperately wanting access to Canada’s abundant resources of nickel, lithium and other critical minerals in order to make the transition to the net-zero emission economies, Wilkinson said waiting an average of 12 years for government to approve new mines in Canada just won’t cut it.
‘There is no access to critical minerals in Canada without Indigenous Peoples being at the table in a decision-making position,’ Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said
Scientists call them Canada’s Amazon Rainforest, and they could be at risk. Peatlands are ancient ecosystems that cool the planet by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, trapping it deep underground. A quarter of peatlands on Earth are found here in Canada, but some are under threat from potential mining developments aimed at creating technology for a greener future.
Facing down governments and industry, this First Nation makes a promise: There’ll be no development in the Ring of Fire without its consent