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Sol Mamakwa, MPP for Kiiwetinoong, Queen's Park screen shot, April 25, 2024

MPP questions consultation efforts with First Nations

By Randy Thoms Apr 26, 2024 | 4:07 PM

The MPP for Kiiwetinoong is tempering the enthusiasm about new electric vehicle plants in southern Ontario.

Honda is the latest to announce plans.

Sol Mamakwa says the province still needs to have agreements with First Nations to access the required minerals.

He does not think the Ford government is doing a good enough job in working with First Nations right now.

“I know for a fact that this government remains well short of the First Nations partnership and permissions,” says Mamakwa.

“The fact is that most of northern Ontario’s minerals are years, if not decades, away from powering any EVs.”

Deputy House Leader Paul Calandra says they continue to work with First Nations leadership on the access to the Ring of Fire.

Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations have agreed to work with the province, but some other communities have voiced their opposition.

Calandra agrees First Nations support is vitally important.

“They want to be a part of that. And we’re going to continue to work very hard,” says Calandra.

“I know it’s a priority of the Premier, priority of the Minister of Indigenous Affairs. And I know how hard the Minister of Mines has been working to ensure that we get that because we can’t power the south, we can’t power the north unless we unlock the riches of Ontario.”