Immediate action needed to protect future mining investment in Ontario: Chamber report

Date ArticleType
12/1/2015 Press Release

Timmins, ON | December 1, 2015—Provincial and federal governments must take bold steps to position Ontario’s mining sector for success in the future, according to a major report released today by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Timmins Chamber of Commerce.

The result of extensive consultations with industry and partners throughout the Chamber network, Digging Deeper: Strengthening Ontario’s Mining Advantage, contains several recommendations to address Ontario-specific challenges to ensure the competitiveness of the province’s mining sector.

This report comes in advance of the Government of Ontario’s renewed Mineral Development Strategy, expected to be released in the coming weeks.

“It’s crucial that all levels of government work together to ensure that Ontario remains a leading global centre for mining investment,” said Kurt Bigeau, president of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce.

“The incredible wealth of knowledge and experience here in Timmins, as developed over more than 100 years of mining, is just one of countless examples of how these investments strengthen our economy. Given the current challenges in global markets, it’s vitally important that governments act now to protect those advantages going forward.”

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 framework between government and Aboriginal communities to provide certainty surrounding the benefits that these communities will gain from mineral resource development. 

“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.”

Other key recommendations of the report include:

  • Increasing the 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, and
  • Leveraging the global demand for Ontario mining expertise to create new business opportunities and drive growth.
  • “The mining sector has a long history of bringing benefits to communities across Ontario and with the right steps, it can continue do so in the future,” added O’Dette. “What the industry needs is a clear signal that the federal and provincial governments are committed to positioning Ontario as the premier destination for mining investment.”

    To view the full report, please visit http://tinyurl.com/DiggingDeeper2015

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    Contact:

    Nick Stewart
    Manager of Policy, Research and Communications
    Timmins Chamber of Commerce
    (705) 360-1900
    policy@timminschamber.on.ca

    Michelle Kelly
    Senior Communications Advisor
    Ontario Chamber of Commerce
    (416) 482-5222 ext. 2410
    michellekelly@occ.ca