In the News
Ring of Fire planning should be holistic, study advises

Originally published in CTV News

18 June 2014

Exploitation of Ontario’s Far North offers the potential for huge economic benefits but could also result in conflict and large-scale environmental degradation unless a comprehensive, regionally based planning is used before development gets underway, a new scientific paper indicates.

The working paper, to be released Thursday, warns that current piecemeal assessment tools are inadequate for the vast, unspoiled but mineral-rich region known as the Ring of Fire.

The issue has taken on new significance with the province’s newly re-elected Liberal government promising quick action on development in the region.

“Ontario will have only one chance to get it right in the Far North,” the paper states.

“We simply will not be able to circle back and undo poorly considered decisions about development, infrastructure or ecological and social tradeoffs once plans are approved and shovels are in the ground.”

The paper by the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada and Ecojustice Canada advocates a holistic approach to development planning.

From the outset, the authors state, the process must involve government, First Nations, industry and local communities and come up with an overall, long-term vision for the region.

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