Mayor Provenzano’s response to physicians concerned over Ferrochrome Production Facility


SaultOnline received the following letter from Mayor Christian Provenzano in response to a group of local physicians who have voiced their concerns about locating a ferrochrome production facility here in the Sault.


Dr. Suppes:

I have your email of September 24th, 2019, covering the public letter sent on behalf of the identified physicians.

I appreciate and respect the concerns that you have raised about a ferrochrome production facility (FPF) being constructed in Sault Ste. Marie.  In general, I assure you that I share them.  However, I note you advised that whatever assurance Noront is able to give, the project should not proceed.  While you may be able to take such a categorical position before receiving information that relates to this specific project, I cannot.  I do not think it would be responsible for me, in my role, to take the same approach.

I believe the community at large would expect the City to thoroughly assess the project on its own independent merits.  This unquestionably includes understanding any potential harm to our environment, our health and our well – being, and the efforts to either mitigate, minimize or eliminate any identified risks.  If, after we have engaged in this assessment, the City is not comfortable with the project, we will not support the construction of the facility in our community.

In that respect, it is important to recognize that we are in the very early stages of a lengthy and rigorous process and that while there are people in our community who oppose the project, there are many who support it.  I think it is important that we maintain a respectful dialogue and that we make our best efforts to share accurate and relevant information.  If we do so, I have substantial confidence that our community will ultimately make an educated decision that is in its best interest.

I note that, prior to the release of your letter, I wrote to Dr. Chow and offered to connect your physician group with the Noront executive.  They are open to meeting with your group to discuss the project and the attendant processes.  Dr. Chow did not take me up on that offer but it stands.  I will be happy to facilitate that meeting at a convenient time and welcome you to let me know if you or any of your colleagues are interested.

In the meantime, I confirm that Noront will be hosting an introductory open house on October 23rd, 2019.  I invite you, your colleagues and any member of our community that has questions or concerns to attend.  The details will be publicized once they are finalized.  Once I have them, I will pass them along to you to be sure you have them also.

If you or any of the physicians identified on the letter would like to discuss this matter further, we can arrange a time to speak or meet.  I will make myself available to any or all of you.


Christian C. Provenzano, B.A., LL.B., LL.M


Related Story: Local physicians voice concerns over ferrochrome facility and their future in the Sault


  1. I must admit if Mr. Provenzano & the rest of our elected officials are anywhere near as competent with ferrochrome production assessments, as they’ve proven themselves to be with ‘Window Replacements’.. then we should start planning our ‘Celebration of Life’ now.

    Never in my entire life have I ever seen such a tragic lack of foresight..
    [email protected]

    Strange daze indeed..

  2. With the whole world concerned about Climate Change and pollution, our city thinks it’s a good idea to have a Ferrochrome plant here?? What the hell are they thinking? Your health is much more important than a job. The facts about what a ferrochrome facility can do to our health are out there. Why would anyone want to live near one of these places? I think our mayor should pay attention to what the doctors are saying as they are the ones that deal with the treatment of cancer patients, and see the devastating results of what chemical pollutants do to the body. This whole thing is just plain crazy. I guess there are some in
    Sault Ste. Marie who are simply blind to the real risks we would be exposing ourselves and our children to

  3. Maybe the doctors would like to stop using stainless steel if they’re so concerned about the environment. This isn’t the 1980s. New technology and standards exist to prevent fiascoes.

    And if you’re worried about cancer, then you probably shouldn’t live on the Canadian Shield.

  4. I would take the word of well respected Doctors before I take the word the industry or city council members, or some clown with the environment,Not this boarder city dose not need a plant this dangerous to our health. period.

  5. One possible solution as to the wishes of the community on this matter. Next municipal election have a clear, concise and neutral question be placed on a ballot for the community to vote on. In the end it is what WE as a community want.
    Just a suggestion.

  6. Amazing there have been all kinds of comment against this project and the Mayor has been fairly quiet but along comes 22 highly educated and highly respected citizens who happen to be Drs. and that gets his attention. Us peons don’t deserve any attention I guess. All this council has to do is call Sudbury city council and ask questions why they opted out, but ask all councillors not just the ones who were in favor.

  7. Ferrochrome production facilities have a proven history for being hazardous to health & environment. Sudbury and other cities in Ontario refused to accept Ferrochrome production facilities because they put the welfare of their citizens and environment at risk. I realize a Ferrochrome production facility would boost the local economy, but at what price to health & environment. There are many articles on the internet detailing the dangers of Ferrochrome production facilities.

    • D.j. Young , I don`t know, but I do know they could have had the one that Sault Ste. Marie wants to have located here, but turned it down due to health & environmental concerns.

    • Jim Sweezey ya not bad enough to pollute the bigger citys ,now you want to come north and pollute our air and water ways so sad all because of the mighty buck .is the city getting a kick back from selling us out?

    • Sadly there are some people that would put economic welfare before health & environment. There are lots of articles on the internet in regards to Ferrochrome production facilities, and the health & environmental consequences they create.

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