[Man speaking] Ladies and gentlemen, please warmly welcome the Premier of the province of Ontario, the honourable Dalton McGuinty.

[Premier McGuinty] Another big part of our Open Ontario Plan is the development of the Ring of Fire.

In fact, it is central to our plan.

When I travel around the province, I never miss an opportunity to tell people about it.

This excites people.

Not just Northerners.

You should see the look on people's faces and the zealth when I describe possibilities up here.

I tell them that the Ring of Fire region contains one of the largest chromite deposits in the world.

People say, "What the heck is chromite?"

All right. I let them know that chromite is a key ingredient in stainless steel. There is no substitute and there is no North American producer.

And I finish by telling them that this is the most promising mining opportunity in Ontario in a century.

It's promising thousands of jobs and solid long-term growth.

When people hear about this, they grow excited.

People everywhere in Ontario grow excited because they realize that jobs and opportunity for Northern Ontarians is good news for all Ontarians.

We all know we can't have a strong Ontario economy without a strong Northern Ontario economy.

Here's what I see in the years ahead for the Ring of Fire. I see at least two mines operating in the Ring of Fire.

I see new rail lines. I see trains making trips to the Far North that they're not making today.

I see a new processing facility in the Near North.

I see jobs and opportunities that don't exist today for communities in the Near North.

I see jobs and opportunities that don't exist today for aboriginal communities.

That's what this will mean.

This is not without its challenges.

It's going to take a deliberate, persistent, consistent effort inspired by the single most important ingredient- goodwill.

That's why we're investing $45 million over the next three years for a new project based skills training program to help aboriginal peoples and northern Ontarians participate and benefit from these emerging economic development opportunities.


The Ring of Fire will only be a true success in partnership with our First Nations.

That's why I'm so pleased that a couple of weeks ago Chief Eli Moonias of Marten Falls and Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation together with Michael Gravelle and Minister Linda Jeffrey signed a letter of intent between their communities and our government.

This letter is the first formal step towards a memorandum of cooperation.

It reaffirms our cooperative relationship with these First Nations communities, and it supports their participation in mineral development and land use planning.

That is an important step, and our government is pleased we were able to take it together and in such a timely way.





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