TIMMINS, May 7, 2015—The Timmins Chamber of Commerce has secured a major partner in its efforts to protect Ontario’s mining industry against unnecessary and harmful tax hikes.
At the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s (OCC) annual general meeting in Cornwall on May 2, Timmins Chamber President Al Thorne successfully lobbied business representatives from all over the province to fight an increase in mining tax rates as currently proposed by numerous special interest groups.
This means that the Timmins Chamber policy to maintain current rates is now an official stance of the OCC. As such, the full weight of the 60,000 businesses represented by the organization will support the push to protect the mining industry and the communities that rely on its vitality.
This support is important, as the Ontario government was willing to consider this idea as recently as two years ago, when the 2013 provincial budget discussed increasing costs for non-renewable resource industries, said Thorne.
“This is a very timely and pressing issue for Timmins and the North as a whole,” said Thorne.
“In recent weeks and months, various groups have renewed their call to impose additional taxes on the mining industry to help solve Ontario’s financial woes. Given the crucial role that the industry plays in our provincial economy, and the obstacles it already faces in the form of elevated energy rates, we need to find ways to support its success rather than adding to the cumulative burden of doing business in Ontario.”
This important stance was voted on and adopted by the 100+ delegates who were on hand at the event to debate policies put forward by Chambers from around Ontario to determine the OCC’s top priorities for the coming year.
Following the Timmins Chamber's success in Cornwall, the OCC will now use its policy as part of its efforts to lobby the provincial government to guard against increasing industry tax hikes.
Designed to protect Timmins' economy and the ability of its businesses to succeed, the Timmins Chamber’s tax policy was assembled with input from its members as well as its Government Regulation and Policy Committee. As a sign of its broader impact on Northern Ontario, this policy was also co-sponsored at the event by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, and North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.
“Given the key role that mining plays in our community, our members will definitely benefit from having the Ontario Chamber of Commerce adopt this position," said Thorne. "We developed strong partnerships with our fellow Northern chambers to push the issue this far, and now that we have the full support of the provincial Chamber network, we look forward to working with our regional and provincial partners and governments to protect our businesses, our community, and our economy.”
The May 2 event also saw the successful passage of several policies put forward by other Northern
Ontario chambers and on which the Timmins Chamber had partnered in the interests of its members. This includes resolutions that the province fix the WSIB, rethink pension reform, enhance labour market information for employers, and protect industrial fibre supply for the forestry industry.
The Cornwall conference also gave Timmins Chamber representatives the opportunity to speak directly to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne on issues of crucial Northern importance such as infrastructure funding, energy rates, and forestry.
To view the full version of the Timmins policy that will now be championed by the OCC, please visit the Chamber’s website at www.timminschamber.on.ca
About the Timmins Chamber of Commerce
With 750 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