Lakehead conference will explore the role of government policy in sustainable mining development

November 18, 2013 ­­— Thunder Bay, ON

Lakehead University’s recently established Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining and Exploration (CESME) will help address challenges faced by Northwestern Ontario’s mining sector at an upcoming conference that will feature several speakers, including Bob Rae.

The Role of Government Policy in Sustainable Mining Development conference will bring together researchers and participants from First Nation, Métis and other local communities, government, and industry on Thursday, Dec. 5 and Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 at Lakehead’s University Centre, Room 1015.

“We will discuss policies regarding infrastructure, Aboriginal and community engagement, environmental protection, workforce development, taxation and benefit-sharing, and business development,” said Dr. Peter Hollings, CESME Director.

“This conference will be of interest to anyone in the mining sector or anyone who is interested in the challenges faced by the mining sector. One of the challenges is pursuing sustainable economic development while ensuring environmental protection and respecting treaty rights,” Hollings said.

The conference, which will be moderated by Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Lakehead’s Vice-Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives), will examine the past, present and future of public policy in the mining sector in various jurisdictions across Canada.

The past will be investigated through an examination of the development of the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as past experiences in Ontario.

The present will focus on the state of policy development for mineral development in northern Quebec and northern British Columbia.

The future will focus on visions for the future, including the Ring of Fire in Ontario. Participants will discuss recommendations to inform future policy development in mining in northern Ontario, particularly the Ring of Fire.

The conference will bring together leaders in mining policy and development from Canada and around the world, with a strong participation from First Nation, Métis and local community leaders, industry and government.

There will be a free public session at 7 pm on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 at Lakehead’s Thunder Bay campus in University Centre 1017.

Speakers include:


  • Bob Rae, chief negotiator for Matawa First Nations Tribal Council in the Ring of Fire
  • Bill Gallagher, author of Resource Rulers
  • Steve Lindley from SNC Lavalin
  • Elsie MacDonald, Webequie First Nation
  • Ramsey Hart, MiningWatch Canada
  • Jason Aagenes, Cliffs Natural Resources


For further information, please visit or contact Dr. Hollings via or call 807-343-8329.



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Media: To arrange an interview, please contact Brandon Walker, Media Relations Officer, at (807) 343-8177.


Lakehead University is a comprehensive university with a reputation for a multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking. More than 8,700 students and 1,850 faculty and staff learn and work at campuses located in Orillia, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University promotes innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. In Orillia, development continues on building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards
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