TIMMINS, Feb. 20, 2014: A new report has revealed that development of Ontario’s Ring of Fire, the mineral-rich region in the James Bay Lowlands, would generate up to $9.4 billion in new economic activity over the first 10 years of operation and sustain 5,500 jobs annually.
Issued by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Beneath the Surface: Uncovering the Economic Potential of Ontario’s Ring of Fire says the region’s potential mining projects could generate more than $25 billion across numerous sectors in Ontario by 2047. This includes $2.7 billion in revenues for the financial services sector and $1.2 billion for the wholesale and retail trade sectors.
“Our study makes it clear that the short- and long-term economic impacts of the Ring of Fire extend far beyond mining,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s time to broaden the Ring of Fire conversation to include all of Ontario, not just the Far North.”
The development of the Ring of Fire would also generate an estimated $6.2 billion for the mining industry in its first 10 years, concentrated primarily in Northern Ontario.
“Although this would mean great things for the North, it’s difficult to overstate the massive economic impact that the Ring of Fire could have for all Ontarians,” said Phil Barton, President of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce. “Many people tend to think of the project as something that will specifically benefit just one region or another, but this study shows that this just isn’t true. The Ring of Fire is truly a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity for the province and indeed the country.”
The study shows that the Ring of Fire will generate significant revenue for all levels of government, to the tune of $1.95 billion within the first 10 years of its development.
However, there remain several major obstacles for the development of the Ring of Fire. To address one of the largest issues, the study’s authors are calling on the provincial and federal governments to design and fund a plan to address inadequate transportation infrastructure in the region, which is cited as a significant barrier.
“There is a strong business case for governments to invest in this economic opportunity,” says O’Dette. “The federal government, in particular, needs to play a more active role in this development, as it has for other transformative projects including the oil sands, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and Churchill Falls.”
The need for the federal government to invest in infrastructure for major resource projects like the Ring of Fire is something the Timmins Chamber of Commerce has long argued for, even garnering the support of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for this policy in September 2013.
With the Canadian Chamber and its 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade -- representing 200,000 businesses nationwide -- supporting this approach, it’s hoped that all governments can work together to help make the Ring of Fire a reality.
“The sheer scope of the Ring of Fire is such that everyone must work together to realize its full potential,” said Barton. “Making this happen will require firm commitments and considerable effort from everyone involved, and we sincerely hope all levels of government are willing to come to the table.”
To further discuss the report and what the Ring of Fire will mean for Ontario, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a free event for its members on at Cedar Meadows on March 7 from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. It will feature a panel discussion with the study authors from the Ontario Chamber, as well as representatives from industry and First Nations communities. For more information, visit www.timminschamber.on.ca
Additional highlights from the study include:
Within the first 10 years of its development, the Ring of Fire will:
generate up to $9.4 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
generate up to $6.2 billion for Ontario’s mining industry
sustain up to 5,500 jobs annually (full time equivalents)
generate nearly $2 billion in government revenue, divided between the federal, provincial, and municipal governments.
Within the first 32 years of its development, the Ring of Fire will generate more than $25 billion in economic activity across numerous sectors in Ontario, of which mining is just one
$2.7 billion in revenues for the financial services sector
$1.2 billion for the wholesale and retail trade sectors
$600 million for the manufacturing sector
$500 million for the utilities sector
Read Beneath the Surface: Uncovering the Economic Potential of Ontario’s Ring of Fire: http://tinyurl.com/RingofFireReport
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.
Manager of Policy, Research and Communications
Timmins Chamber of Commerce