Northern Policy Institute Hosts Speaker's Breakfast With Ring of Fire Report Author, Nick Mulder
by Scott A. Sumner
The Northern Policy Institute held a Speaker's Breakfast with Nick Mulder, the author of the think tank's first report on the Ring of Fire. The Speaker's Breakfast took place on July 10th at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay.
The Ring of Fire report, released earlier this month, suggested that an Authority model similar to the Airport/Port Transportation Authority model would be an effective model in developing infrastructure in the Ring of Fire. Following significant interest in the report, Northern Policy Institute invited Nick Mulder to deliver a presentation of the report directly to Northern Ontario stakeholders. Says Charles Cirtwill, President & CEO of Northern Policy Institute; "One of the main goals of Northern Policy Institute is to generate and facilitate dialogue around policy issues. This first report on Ring of Fire infrastructure development has certainly started the discussion and we want to continue the conversation among stakeholders on potential options. “ About the Author, Nick Mulder: Nick Mulder is the former Deputy Minister of Transport Canada. As one of the principal architects of a broad commercialization agenda with the Government of Canada, Nick Mulder developed the Transportation Authority model governing ports and airports. About Northern Policy Institute: Northern Policy Institute provides proactive, evidence-based and purpose driven recommendations to government and industry on policies and programs that strengthen our communities and create a more competitive and productive Northern Ontario. For more information visit: www.northernpolicy.ca
Nick Mulder “ The NPI are very pleased with the interest in the report I did and the attendance at the breakfast.”
“ I agree with the questions of the Aboriginal community attending today and believe in their extensive involvement and being partners in the decision making process. You need to look after their own special needs in their communities which are quite separate from the infrastructure needs of the mining companies. They have to be interconnected because you can’t just build roads that aren’t interconnected to other roads. If they are involved in this independent transportation authority I am suggesting could be set up, the aboriginal communities could make their own links to the transportation route.” “ Minister Michael Gravelle called and we had a very pleasant conversation. He said we want a real local partnership with local people in the decisions. I am not sure what the Ontario government will come up with in the next month or so.” “ KKWG and I will have a meeting to compare notes.” “ I worked in government provincially in New Brunswick and federally in Ottawa in various departments especially transportation. My original idea to have a set up similar to airport authorities came from Western Canada for instance in Calgary with their airport. The Calgary and Vancouver airports were the first to be commercialized in the mid 1990s. They have done a good job, not costing the government money and all the decisions are made by the airport authority. These are good examples.” “ The aboriginal communities have to be involved in any event even with the recent court decision as it is their traditional lands where they have roamed for fishing or hunting. They want a big say in what happens and in some cases the final decision.”