TIMMINS, October 1, 2013—The Timmins Chamber of Commerce is taking action to push the federal government to partner with industry on funding infrastructure related to mining projects in remote areas such as Ontario’s Ring of Fire.
At the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s (CCC) annual general meeting held Sept. 28-30, the Timmins Chamber successfully lobbied representatives of the country’s largest business advocacy group to push for more federal funding partnerships for mining-related transportation and energy infrastructure.
Held in Kelowna, B.C., the event saw nearly 500 delegates -- representing more than 200,000 Canadian businesses -- debating policies put forward by Chambers from around the country to determine the CCC’s top priorities for the coming year. 2013-14 Timmins Chamber President Phil Barton and Timmins Chamber Manager of Policy, Research and Communications Nick Stewart were on hand to successfully lobby for Timmins Chamber members’ interests.
“Timmins’ economy is closely linked to the health of the mining industry, and there are many projects throughout Northern Ontario that could have a strong and positive impact on our local businesses,” said Barton.
“However, many of these projects are in remote areas, and are being delayed by a lack of transportation or energy infrastructure; these projects are also often in areas with First Nations communities who are also strongly in need of that same infrastructure. Industry is often willing to share the costs of this development, and the adoption of this policy by the delegates of the CCC is a crucial first step in bringing the federal government to the table on this issue.”
Having adopted Timmins’ energy policies, the CCC will use those ideas as part of its efforts to enact change in the coming months and years.
This policy, entitled Infrastructure Investment Essential to Mining Sector Growth, was crafted in consultation between the Timmins Chamber’s Government Regulation and Policy Committee, area businesses, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, as well as B.C.’s Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce.
Examples of the need for greater federal support of remote mining projects include the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario’s James Bay Lowlands, a mineral-rich region in northwestern Ontario worth approximately $50 billion. However, project proponents have described the lack of transportation and energy infrastructure as a serious hurdle to its progress; this type of challenge is common for many strategic mining areas throughout Canada, contributing to the adoption of the Timmins Chamber policy by CCC delegates.
“Our members -- as well as the greater national economy -- will definitely benefit from having the Canadian Chamber of Commerce adopt this policy, which was achieved through strong partnerships with our fellow Chambers,” said Barton. “We’re extremely proud to serve as the voice of business in our region, and our members have been very clear in their desire to see the federal government participate in funding partnerships in this way. Now that we have the full support of the national Chamber network, we look forward to working with our regional, provincial and federal partners and governments to make this happen.”
To view the full versions of the policy that will now be championed by the CCC, please visit the Chamber’s website at www.timminschamber.on.ca.
About the Timmins Chamber of Commerce
With 800 members, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest accredited chambers of commerce with distinction in northeastern Ontario. As the “Voice of Business in Timmins” since 1949, our advocacy and policy initiatives focus on ensuring a positive business climate in the City of Timmins.
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Timmins Chamber of Commerce