“The good news is continuing to come out of northern Ontario” – Gravelle


Michael GravelleQUEEN’S PARK – During debate in the Ontario Legislature on Thursday, Michael Gravelle said, “I think it’s fair to say our government policies and our Open Ontario plan have positioned our province to remain the number-one jurisdiction in Canada for investment, particularly in the mining sector”.

Gravelle’s statement came in a question from fellow Liberal MPP David Orazietti.

Here is the transcript of the exchange from the Hansard of the Legislature:


Mr. David Orazietti: My question is to the Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry. Minister, while we have not fully recovered from the significant downturn in the economy, we are making progress. The effects of the recession in northern Ontario have been particularly challenging, but I’m aware that your ministry is working in partnership with businesses and industry to grow job opportunities in the north through the northern Ontario growth plan. Provincial support for the Huron Central Railway, St. Marys Paper and the Terrace Bay pulp and paper mill are great examples of the investments and the commitment our government has demonstrated to ensure workers and their families in the north have the opportunity to succeed.

Minister, as you know, it’s important that we continue to attract investment in the north. Can you tell us what you’re doing to promote investment and economic development in northern Ontario?

Hon. Michael Gravelle: I appreciate the question, and there’s indeed some good news that’s coming out of northern Ontario.

I think it’s fair to say our government policies and our Open Ontario plan have positioned our province to remain the number-one jurisdiction in Canada for investment, particularly in the mining sector. Yesterday, that came home in a very significant way when the CEO of Vale Canada announced a five-year investment program for Ontario and for Canada. In Ontario alone, Vale announced it will be spending $3.4 billion to upgrade mining and processing facilities here. That includes a number of positive pieces of news: $360 million towards the Totten Mine. This will be the first new Vale mine in Sudbury in almost 40 years. It’s expected to begin production in 2011, creating 130 jobs.

Let me also give a bit of thanks to our colleague the MPP for Sudbury for the hard work and advocacy he’s done on behalf of that. He knows what good news this is for Sudbury and all of northern Ontario.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. David Orazietti: Minister, Vale’s decision to invest in Ontario is certainly great news for our economy and for the families that will benefit from these jobs. Vale is making these investments in Sudbury, a city that has been built on the success of mineral exploration and development. It makes sense that companies would want to invest there. It’s clear that Vale’s investment will also have a positive impact on all of northern Ontario, including First Nation communities.

Minister, we know it’s important to create an encouraging climate for investment. How are you working to ensure that all northerners will participate in strengthening our economy?

Hon. Michael Gravelle: That’s just a great question. Again, the good news is continuing to come out of northern Ontario. Another recent investment was made by Northgate Minerals Corp. They opened up the Young-Davidson mine, and they worked very closely with the Matachewan First Nation and got an impact benefit agreement in place. Early in September, my colleague for Timiskaming–Cochrane, Mr. Ramsay, and I were celebrating a groundbreaking ceremony for this extraordinary operation. Again, $1.5 billion will be invested in that mine and the life of the mine—600 jobs in terms of construction, 275 jobs in long-term employment. This is great news. We’ve got the potential opening of the largest gold mine in North America, Detour Gold—great news; and the Lac des Iles operation, North American Palladium, outside Thunder Bay, reopened with 180 new jobs—good news. The number one investment jurisdiction in Canada is here in Ontario, and it will continue to be.

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