By John Woodside, Canada's National Observer
Both of those challenges exist in places like Ontario’s “Ring of Fire,” a mineral-rich area of environmentally sensitive peatlands where some First Nations have concerns about potential mining development, Wilkinson said.
“Both of those issues have to be addressed in any agreement that mining in the Ring of Fire is going to proceed,” he said.
Environmental groups have also voiced concerns about preserving the region’s peatlands, which are a natural “carbon sink” that offsets greenhouse gas emissions from human activity that cause climate change. A recent report from the organization Environmental Defence said the development of mining claims in the area could release up to 250 megatonnes of carbon — the equivalent of about 37 per cent of Canada’s national emissions in 2020.
Jamie Kneen from the group MiningWatch told the Star on Friday he is wary of the strategy’s aim to streamline approvals and regulations rules that he already feels are too lax for the industry.
“What we’re hearing from communities is that they want more protection, not less,” Kneen said.
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