This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
In a recently published official report, the environmental watchdog of Ontario has warned that the government under Premier Kathleen Wynne is “deliberately dismantling” environmental protections, which have resulted in the far north and prized species like polar bears and lake sturgeon in greater danger along with the territory of First Nations peoples. In the annual report published by Environmental Commissioner, Gord Miller, on Thursday, he alleged that the attempts to open the rich northwestern Ontario chromite and other mineral deposits in the so-called Ring of Fire risks “irreversible damage to wildlife and wilderness.”
The alarming 190-page report stated that “we have one chance to get things right in the far north,” alleging that the government cutbacks are obviously an “attack” on the ability of the Ministry of Natural Resources to police Ontario’s precious natural assets. Millar pointed out that the province has failed to establish controls to guide mining and other projects to develop the Ring of Fire. He stated that “we have one chance to get things right . . . but infrastructure such as highways and (electricity) transmission corridors are already on the drawing board.” The commissioner added that “there’s been little analysis or public debate of their effect on the environment or their benefits for First Nations.”
The threatening report has come at a very odd time for the minority Liberal government, as they are already facing criticism due to recent issues including 200 per cent salary bonuses the Pan Am Games organizers in 2015, along with costs of up to $1.1 billion for cancellation of Mississauga and Oakville power plants.