Evidence of meeting #27 for Natural Resources in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was going.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Wes Hanson  President and Chief Executive Officer, Noront Resources Ltd.
  • Kirk McKinnon  President and Chief Executive Officer, MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.
  • Ian Brodie-Brown  President and Chief Executive Officer, AurCrest Gold Inc.
  • Elijah Moonias  Marten Falls First Nation
  • David Kilgour  Councillor, City of Greater Sudbury

10:10 a.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Thank you, Mr. McKinnon.

I wanted to get to Mr. Brodie-Brown because he's been left out of this discussion so far. It's about training. Training was talked about on Tuesday, and training is being talked about today.

We've heard in this committee that we're already behind in training. For a number of years, I've heard from chiefs right across northern Ontario that one of the things lacking is long-term professional training. In other words, it would create an opportunity if band members could be mobile and go where the work is and so on, instead of spending a year and a half at a construction job that disappears, and then everybody is unemployed. That's certainly where things are going for that professional designation.

Mr. Brodie-Brown, what would you do immediately, if you had an opportunity right now? Everybody has indicated that you're already behind; what would you do right now to get the process moving with training and education?

10:10 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, AurCrest Gold Inc.

Ian Brodie-Brown

South of this area, down near Rainy River, we trained 20 first nation drillers in one year on the Osisko contract, which was Brett Resources at the time. Our drilling company is owned partly by a first nation.

Lac Seul would like to open a drilling school. We'd like to see people from the Ring of Fire trained at a first nations drilling school.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

What about training people in terms of professional or trade qualifications—for example, to become electricians or plumbers--so that once work was finished 10, 15, or 20 years down the road, they would be mobile and could move to other places and continue to have full employment?

10:10 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, AurCrest Gold Inc.

Ian Brodie-Brown

Absolutely. Now, electricians are a bit off of my professional training; the drillers are the immediate need. The electricians are there. There are plenty of colleges in the north they could go to. The jobs are there.

I'd like to get one crack at the real, direct thing that Kirk has been saying. I have a negotiation with Webequie for an exploration agreement. The one I'm about to sign with Lac Seul is different. Lac Seul has put a half-million dollar investment into our public company; will they be seen as getting favouritism because they gave us money?

I have a different agreement with every band that I sign with. They keep those agreements private to themselves. We don't know whether we're signing something similar or who's getting a worse deal. We put all of ours on the public listing, the SEDAR site, so that they are available to everybody.

I think the point we're trying to get across is that there has to be a comprehensive negotiating agreement between companies and first nations. We respect that there will be things that need to be discussed culturally and socially, but there has to be a set guideline so that the companies know, or you're going to have a league with about 1,800 teams in it playing every single game by different rules. In about 10 years, in the north you're going to have a conflagration of agreements signed by different companies and different bands. Each band will have 12 different agreements with 12 different companies. It's just unregulated in that fashion. This is provincial in our case, but it has been left for the companies to negotiate.

That's just my entrepreneurial opinion of why my deals are different from somebody else's.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Do we still have a moment left?

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Leon Benoit

No, you certainly do not, Mr. Rafferty.

Thank you both.

Go ahead, Mr. Daniel, for five minutes.

February 16th, 2012 / 10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Hanson, I just have a quick question. How many jobs do you think you are going to create on this project in the Ring of Fire?

10:10 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Noront Resources Ltd.

Wes Hanson

For the nickel mine itself, probably somewhere in the range of 200 to 300, and during the construction phase, probably double that.

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Don Valley East, ON

Is that for all trades?

10:10 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Noront Resources Ltd.

Wes Hanson

It will be a mixture of trades, skilled labour, and unskilled labour. It will be 60% unskilled labour, 20% skilled labour, and 20% professional.

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Don Valley East, ON

Okay. I will ask the same question to Mr. McKinnon.

10:15 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.

Kirk McKinnon

We haven't made the kind of discovery they have. I would say to you that, just on the drilling process, we hired people on the drill crews. We hire them to work in the camps and things of that nature on a very regular basis. That's part of our agreement.

I would like to make this one point. If you help us stimulate discovery and we create the critical mass that I'm talking about, then you will force much of this activity because the opportunity sitting there will have been quantified.

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Don Valley East, ON

You commented at the beginning of your speech about a lack of recognition. Can you expand on that a bit? It's a lack of what recognition?

10:15 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.

Kirk McKinnon

I'm not sure what you mean.

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Don Valley East, ON

When you talked earlier, you said a number of things, including a lack of recognition, no clear process, and no system. There's a lack of recognition of what? I just didn't understand it. It's probably not worth spending time on.

I will ask the same question to you about potential employees and the number of people.