Premier Kathleen Wynne's office has a released a letter she sent earlier this month to First Nations chiefs near the Ring of Fire in which she calls for progress on the long-stalled chromite development.
In particular, Wynne warns the chief not to “squander” the current opportunity to build all-season roads into the area “and set the stage for future social and economic growth for communities that are supportive.”
Wynne's government came under heavy criticism from the Opposition in the recent provincial budget for not mentioning the chromite deposit in northwestern
Ontario, for which the Liberals promised $1 billion during the election campaign in 2014. The deposit is worth as much as $60 billion.
In her letter, the premier says not much progress has been made in the last three years in terms of developing infrastructure and that the province can't wait much longer for consensus to emerge.
The premier said her government would switch to dealing one-on-one with communities in the area if the collective approach doesn't bear fruit soon.
“While I continue to hope progress can be made,” Wynne wrote, “I am prepared to continued to advance discussion with those First Nations that would like to pursue transportation infrastructure, through our bilateral process.
“We need to see meaningful progress in weeks, not months, and I look forward to being updated in the very near future.”