Ring of Fire not a 'magic bullet' for aboriginal poverty

Mining projects like northern Ontario's Ring of Fire will not provide a "magic bullet" for aboriginal communities trying to escape poverty, former Liberal Party of Canada leader Bob Rae said Saturday at a conference.

Rae publicly supports a multi-faceted approach, one in which natural resource development happens alongside improved education, job training, and governance.

“[The Ring of Fire] is seen as the solution…but everyone has to understand that this is not the magic solution to poverty, because you’ve got to get people ready for jobs and for work,” Rae said.

“You’ve got to create the conditions under which people are able to participate in the workforce.”

One specific proposal mentioned at the conference was targeted loans to remote communities to help them to build and grow small businesses.

Rae's comments came immediately after a visit to the remote Marten Falls First Nation, who are often without electricity and internet. 

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