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Ont. and First Nations announce partnership to support economic and resource development

by CM Staff   

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$1.9M from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development for the Indigenous Workforce Development Program has been promised for First Nations communities.

GREENSTONE — On Jun. 18, the Government of Ontario signed Letters of Confirmation that will support renewed partnerships with Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Aroland First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation and Long Lake #58 First Nation to unlock economic and resource development opportunities in northern Ontario, including future critical minerals projects.

“As we rebuild Ontario’s economy, our government is developing meaningful partnerships with First Nations across Ontario that create real opportunities for economic growth and job creation,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Together with First Nations partners, we’re improving and upgrading northern roads to better connect First Nations communities to the province’s highway network and to support future critical mineral and resource development opportunities. These are all season roads that will support First Nations communities, built by First Nations workers.”

The commitments outlined in the Letters of Confirmation include an agreement to upgrade the roads that connect First Nations communities to the provincial highway network and contain funding for other community infrastructure and skills training programs for First Nations people, including in resource development.

The agreement includes the following:

  • Building and improving the highway infrastructure that will help connect more First Nations communities to the province’s highway network. This work includes maintenance and upgrades to Highway 584 and Highway 11, with work starting this construction season.
  • $1.9 million from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development for the Indigenous Workforce Development Program through the province’s Skills Development Fund. The program will provide training and support to secure jobs related to mineral development in the region.
  • $2 million to fund the construction and maintenance of the Migizi Plaza Rest Stop, which will serve the needs of First Nation members, tourists and residents, create jobs and drive revenue for the First Nations and Municipality of Greenstone.
  • The province will work to relocate the Greenstone OPP detachment, with support for the relocation costs from Greenstone Gold Mine. Relocating the station will ensure that people have access to police services, close to home, following the displacement of the station during the mine’s construction.
  • The province will engage with relevant First Nations communities and police services to develop a pre-charge diversion program.

“Our government is proud to build consensus with First Nations leaders around key economic development opportunities in the north,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs and First Nation Economic Reconciliation. “Through strategic partnerships and critical infrastructure investments, we are laying the foundation for Greenstone to become the new centre of gravity for mining, in partnership with First Nations.”

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