HELP PROTECT ONTARIO'S NORTH FROM MINING THREATS
The "Ring of Fire" is located in the heart of Ontario's intact boreal ecosystem. It offers hope for big fortunes from mining but at what cost?
Ontario’s Far North is part of one of the largest, intact ecosystems areas left on earth, with rich wetlands and clean flowing rivers that support continentally important populations of wildlife, including threatened woodland caribou and healthy fisheries. It also regulates climate, stores carbon and sustains the traditional activities of First Nations. More than 24 Aboriginal communities live here and have inherent rights to the land.
Until De Beers' Victor Diamond Mine opened in 2008, this was an area with very little industrial development. We recently uncovered many unsettling problems with how the company is self-monitoring the environmental impacts of the mine. And the province has left responsibility for monitoring up to the company.
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That is why we’re calling for an independent monitoring and reporting system to be put in place. Based on our close reading of its reports, we feel De Beers' is not taking its environmental reporting obligations seriously, and the province is failing to provide effective oversight.
And if that wasn’t concerning enough, there’s more danger to this area. Last summer, CPAWS Wildlands League released new photographs showing the damaging effects of mining exploration activities within the Ring of Fire, even before any other mines are built. Now we hear a decision on a new mining road could be imminent even before thorough public review and regional environmental assessment are completed. CPAWS Wildlands is also calling for a full regional environmental assessment of the Ring of Fire before any new industrial permits are issued.
READ MORE ABOUT RING OF FIRE and VICTOR DIAMOND MINE
CPAWS is calling on Ontario to require stronger protection for the Far North including:
- independent monitoring and reporting for the Victor Diamond Mine;
- a regional environmental assessment for the region encompassed by the Ring of Fire that will provide a blueprint to plan for all the activities that may come to pass within the next decade in this part of Northern Ontario;
- the repeal of all the exemptions for industrial activities from the Endangered Species Act including for early mining exploration activities; and,
- the protection of the inherent rights of local indigenous peoples so that they can steward their ancestral homelands.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION
Together, the voices of citizens like you who care about the future of our amazing wilderness and the people who have long lived in the North will make a difference.
SEND YOUR MESSAGE to the Ontario government in support of strong protection of the Far North.
Personalized messages are always strongest. If you have been to the Far North, share your views about it. And here are some other points you may wish to include in your message:
- Ontario has a significant amount of Canada’s last remaining intact boreal forests and wetlands within the Ring of Fire. It is our responsibility to protect these global assets!
- There are many proposals for mines, roads and other infrastructure within the Ring of Fire -Ontario needs an overarching blueprint that will make sure the rivers stay healthy, that habitat for sensitive wildlife is protected and that indigenous rights are respected, before allowing any further development;
- Self- monitoring isn’t working with the Victor Diamond Mine and Ontario is failing to provide effective oversight. It is time for independent monitoring and reporting;
- Ontario has already lost about half of the habitat that boreal woodland caribou once used. Unless a conservation-first plan is created for the Ring of Fire in advance of further industrial development, we risk pushing this iconic wildlife species and many others in the region to extinction; and,
- Local indigenous people have inherent rights that need to be respected so that they can continue their stewardship of their homelands.