Remarks by José Blanco, Chair of the Advisory Panel on Municipal Revenues from “A Refined Argument”

On behalf of the members of the Advisory Panel on Municipal Mining Revenues, I am pleased to present our report.

The Panel that you and your Council convened to prepare this report includes a diversity of perspectives drawn from the panelists’ experiences in business, politics, community services, labour, education and the mining industry. It has been a privilege to work with these dedicated citizens.

As the work of the Panel progressed, ably supported by the resource team you provided, the diversity of experiences merged into a consensus that a new framework for balancing the costs and the benefits that the mining industry creates within our Municipality is essential. These issues need to be urgently addressed for the City of Greater Sudbury to achieve its potential.

After eighty years of expansion and twenty-five of consolidation, the Sudbury Basin is one of the most technically advanced and active mining and processing camps in North America, if not the world.

The City of Greater Sudbury supports this successful camp in its midst with a safe, secure and modern urban environment, with first-class educational facilities, with a diversified and highly skilled workforce, with a growing sector that supplies goods and services for mining and processing, and with modern research and development facilities that range from basic technology to fundamental physics; the Paris of world mining camps, as a senior mining executive described it, plus the mining technology version of Boston’s high-tech Route in-the-making, plus a mining industry that is buoyant once again and is ready to reinvest. This is an enabling convergence of conditions.

Exploiting this once-in-a-generation convergence will require the Municipality to raise the quality and scope of the services and infrastructure it provides; failing to raise them would prevent Greater Sudbury from reaching its potential as a thriving and modern Canadian city which will contribute to the advancement of Northern Ontario, the Province, and the country — and that takes money that Greater Sudbury does not have. 

Therefore, the Panel concludes, it is time for the Province and the Municipality to work out, in the spirit of cooperation and mutual benefit, a solution which balances the wealth that a modern, hi-tech mining and processing industry can generate, and the investments this requires.

The entire report can be found at: A Refined Argument: Report of the Advisory Panel on Municipal Mining Revenues