Mining Report Offers Ideas for Ontario Government
THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay Chamber President Charla Robinson shares information on the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Report on Mining.
The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released a report that looks at offering the Ontario Government opportunities to boost mining in Ontario. The report was released just before a report from the Ontario Auditor General that offers severe critical commentary on the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. Chamber President Charla Robinson shares insights into the Chamber Report.
he Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) urged provincial and federal governments to take bold steps to position Ontario’s mining sector for success in the future. The report, Digging Deeper: Strengthening Ontario’s Mining Advantage, provides several recommendations so that, in the context of a global downturn, Ontario-specific challenges can be addressed now to ensure the competitiveness of Ontario’s mining sector in the future. This report comes in advance of the Government of Ontario’s renewed Mineral Development Strategy, expected to be released in the coming weeks.
“Ontario mining is a real competitive advantage for the province, and our expertise in mineral production, finance, and innovation is in global demand,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. “However, there are critical steps that the government must take to ensure the sector’s continued role as an economic driver in Ontario. We are calling on all levels of government to harmonize their efforts to ensure that mining investment continues to flow into Ontario now and in the future.”
Among the report’s top recommendations is for the Governments of Ontario and Canada to increase investment in northern infrastructure, one of the key barriers to mining development in the province. Both levels of government have committed to large-scale infrastructure investment in the coming years. With renewed commitments to intergovernmental cooperation, the OCC sees a clear opportunity to coordinate investment and unlock the potential of new mineral discoveries in Ontario’s North.
The report also urges government to take steps to reduce regulatory uncertainty, consistently cited as a top issue by mining companies as they look to invest or expand in Ontario. Specifically, the report pushes for the establishment of a Resource Revenue Sharing (RRS) framework between government and Aboriginal communities to provide certainty surrounding the benefits that these communities will gain from mineral resource development.
Other key recommendations of the report include:
● Increasing Ontario’s flow-through share tax credit from five percent to 20 percent, extending the availability of the federal Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC), and creating an enhanced METC for remote projects.
● Increasing Ontario’s investment in mining research and innovation.
● Leveraging the global demand for Ontario mining expertise to create new business opportunities and drive growth.
Thunder Bay Chamber President Charla Robinson commented, “This report echoes what we have been hearing from mining representatives across Northwestern Ontario for some time. Key steps should be taken now to position Ontario as a premier destination for mining investment.”
Chamber across Ontario are encouraging the Government of Ontario to continue its engagement with all actors in the mining sector in order to capitalize on the potential of the next mining boom.
Robinson has not had the needed time to review the Auditor General’s report on the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. That report, issues several areas where the Ministry could streamline and improve services.