Ontario Signs Energy Projects Agreement with First Nations
< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">Indigenous leaders in southwestern Ontario are delighted with the arrival of major projects in their region, including a battery plant for electric vehicles.
The government of Ontario has partnered with Caldwell First Nation, Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Points First Nation and the Three Fires Group to create a task force that will aim to fast-track projects to #x27;infrastructure and energy in the South West of the province.
The new Three Fires-Ontario Action Group for Infrastructure and Economic Opportunities in Southwestern Ontario is a space for dialogue between government and First Nations.
This new group will advance billions of dollars in critical infrastructure, transformational investments and clean energy projects in the region, reads a statement from the province.
Caldwell First Nation Chief Mary Duckworth wants the group to consider principles ecological in its work.
Caldwell First Nation Chief Mary Duckworth highlights the importance of energy investment opportunities currently occurring in Southwestern Ontario.
There is so much energy going through Southwestern Ontario that we [First Nations] thought it was important to go see the province to talk to them instead of just trying to deal with bureaucrats or I should say civil servants, she explains.
She adds that the Ford government has been very open.
The Chief says that through this action group, she and her counterparts will have the opportunity to come collectively, instead of one Chief at a time, to the provincial government table to discuss this issue. happening around energy and climate change.
In March 2022, the federal government, the provincial government and the City of Windsor, in partnership with LG Energy Solution and Stellantis announced the upcoming creation in Windsor of a battery plant for electric vehicles worth more than 5 billion dollars.
This is a major project for which collaboration with the First Nations of Southwestern Ontario is necessary, according to Chief Mary Duckworth, but she says it's just one of many.
She wants guidelines put in place for this which she sees as a current and future wave of energy projects.
I don't want to be specific with electric vehicle battery factories. These are all the components of all the energies that arrive, she explains.
“We want to make sure that the ecology is respected on our First Nation territory and that we protect the environment and we can do it together around a table.
— Chief Mary Duckworth, Caldwell First Nation
Ms. Duckworth believes in being able to move at the speed of business.
She says that the steps to be followed for new investors will be known and completed more quickly, which will allow First Nations to prepare to enforce ecological standards.
[We can] be there when they start working on the ground or changing anything in our territory, she says.