Ring Of Fire Advisory Council

Archived Backgrounder

Ring Of Fire Advisory Council

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines

The Province will appoint up to 10 council members to represent Northern Ontario's leading business, academic and First Nations organizations.

The council will focus on development within the Ring of Fire region as well as development of:

  • value-added processing opportunities within Ontario's Near North
  • supporting infrastructure across the North
  • supply chain opportunities across Ontario
  • Aboriginal participation in each of these areas.

The first four members of the Ring of Fire Advisory Council are:

John Beaucage, Chief Executive Officer, Lake Huron Anishinabek Transmission Company


In October 2004, John Beaucage was elected Grand Council Chief to serve the 42-member First Nations of the Anishinabek Nation. John was re-elected in 2006, by acclamation, a rare occurrence in the history of Canada's oldest native political organizations, and served as Grand Council Chief until 2009. Prior to his election as Grand Council Chief, John had been the elected Chief of Wasauksing First Nation, and had served in that capacity for eight years.

John worked for Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation for 15 years in many locations across the country before returning to Parry Sound in 1989. He then started a number of successful business ventures with his wife Bonnie prior to entering the political arena.

John is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a combined degree in English and Economics, and he has done post-graduate work in First Nation planning at the University of British Columbia. Recently he received the degree of honorary Doctor of Letters from Nipissing University.

Dominic Giroux, President, Laurentian University


Dominic Giroux became Laurentian University's ninth president in April 2009. Prior to his appointment at Laurentian, Dominic was Assistant Deputy Minister with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Before serving in government, Dominic was chief of staff to the CEO and later CFO of a new district of 45 French-language schools in southern Ontario from 1998 to 2001, and CFO of a school board in eastern Ontario from 2002 to 2005, where he led an ambitious capital expansion.

A member of the Ontario College of Teachers, Dominic has a bachelor's degree in social sciences and a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Ottawa. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales in Montreal.

Chris Hodgson, President, Ontario Mining Association

Chris Hodgson was appointed as the new President of the Ontario Mining Association in late October 2004. He joined the association following a distinguished career in government.
He entered the Provincial Legislature following a by-election in 1994, and he won general elections in 1995 and 1999 representing the riding of Haliburton-Victoria-Brock. While in government, Chris served in several positions including Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Natural Resources, Chairman of Management Board and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Previously, he was involved in municipal politics and real estate development. 

Pat Lang, Thunder Bay

During Pat Lang's appointment as President of Confederation College from 2000 to 2011, five new centres opened: an Aviation Centre of Excellence, a Forestry Centre, Centre for Applied Media Productions, Negahneewin College of Academic and Community Development, and the Paterson Library Commons.

Pat received her Bachelor of Nursing from the University of New Brunswick and her Master of Arts from Central Michigan University. In March 2009, she was appointed the newest Honorary Captain (Naval) by the Minister of National Defence, affiliated with Maritime Training & Education. Pat received an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from the University of New Brunswick, which was conferred in May 2009.

Ring Of Fire Office - Thunder Bay

The new Ring of Fire office will be responsible for:

  • helping to develop the strategic vision and framework to facilitate successful development of the Ring of Fire initiative
  • promoting economic opportunities for Northern Ontario and Aboriginal communities
  • partnering with other ministries to develop creative solutions that meet the interests of Northern Ontarians, Aboriginal communities and the mining industry, while achieving government business objectives.

Harvey Yesno, Director for Aboriginal Community and Stakeholder Relations, Ring of Fire Secretariat

Harvey Yesno comes to the Ring of Fire office from his former capacity as the President and CEO of Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund since 1993. Prior to his time with the development fund, Harvey served as Chief of Eabametoong First Nation for five terms and as councillor for one term. For over 30 years he has been an active participant in many different capacities in the National Indian Brotherhood\Assembly of First Nations and Grand Council
Treaty #9\Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

Harvey's extensive experience in creating sustainable business and economic development sectors in the Aboriginal community, his strong ties and relationships with First Nations and Aboriginal organizations across Canada and his personal knowledge of Aboriginal culture and decision making will be a tremendous asset in the work of the Secretariat.

Media Contacts

  • Aly Vitunski

    Minister's Office

    aly.vitunski@ontario.ca

    416-327-2394

  • Harvey Yesno

    MNDMF Ring of Fire Secretariat

    harvey.yesno@ontario.ca

    807-475-1778

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