OMA Meet the Miners event helps Queen’s Park focus on mineral industry benefits

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.


A solid contingent of industry leaders, cabinet ministers, MPPs and public servants celebrated the role of the mineral sector at the Ontario Mining Association’s Meet the Miners event.  The event was rescheduled to March 28 at the Sutton Place Hotel after adjusting arrangements to make way for the provincial budget at the Legislature, which was delivered on March 29.

“Thank you for being here to help us celebrate the contributions Ontario’s mining industry makes to the society and economy of the province,” said Marc Boissonneault, Vice President Sudbury Operations for Xstrata Nickel and OMA Chairman.  “Mining remains a key sector to help us move to a greener and more productive society.”

Michael Gravelle Minister of Northern Development Mines and Forestry saluted the OMA for its role for more than 90 years in making a positive difference in the province.  “Ontario is a better place for the vision and innovation of the mining industry. The mining industry in Ontario not only has made it through challenging times recently but it has come out stronger than ever.”

“There are many examples of exciting things happening in Ontario’s mining industry,” said Mr. Gravelle.  “Mining is not just a Northern Ontario story.  There is an exhibit in this room about Sifto’s salt mine in Goderich, which is the largest underground salt mine in the world.”

Representing the Progressive Conservative Party at the Meet the Miners event was Randy Hillier, Mines critic and MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lenox and Addington.  He supported a theme expressed by the Mines Minister.

“A lot of people at Queen’s Park think mining only takes place in Northern Ontario,” he said.  “Omya Canada has a calcium carbonate mine in my riding near Perth and I have worked at Omya as an electrician.”  Mr. Hillier said his party would work to raise Ontario’s relative status in the world as a jurisdiction attractive to mining investment.

“We understand how the importance of mining is not just for Northern Ontario, not just for Timmins, where I live, but for all of Ontario,” said Gilles Bisson, NDP MPP representing the constituency of Timmins-James Bay and NDP Mines critic.  “Mining provides jobs that pay well, jobs that are long lasting and jobs that are technical and skilled.”

He noted that mining does and can continue to play a big role in helping to build communities and better lives for Ontarians.  “We need to work together to do what is right for the environment, First Nations and the bottom line of companies to build sustainability for us all.”

One of the extra attractions of the evening was the high-tech random lottery style draw to see which So You Think You Know Mining high school video competition entry was going to win the $500 Early Bird draw.  And the winner was number 6 “Do you know mining?” by Morgan MacDonald from Lockerby Composite in Sudbury.  Congratulations to this student who is rewarded for being fast off the mark!

Early Bird entries had to be received by March 10.  March 31 is the final deadline for entries this year.  The awards ceremony for the third SYTYKM video competition is planned for June 1, 2011 at the Royal Ontario Museum.  Watch for further details on this exciting industry event. 

“Mineral producers continue to make solid contributions to employment, investment, regional development, positive trade balances and tax revenues,” added Mr. Boissonneault.  “It has been a relatively good year for mining and the future looks promising.”

OMA President Chris Hodgson thanked everyone for adjusting their plans on short notice to participate in the Meet the Miners event this year.  He also expressed appreciation to Mines Minister Gravelle and his staff for helping the OMA with the event and for encouraging the large turnout of cabinet ministers for Meet the Miners.  Earlier in the day, Mr. Gravelle made a statement in the Legislature in support of mining and the Meet the Miners event.

The OMA has been holding Meet the Miners activities at Queen’s Park in various forms for more than 25 years.  It is intended to bring recognition of the importance of the industry to the seat of the provincial government.  Mr. Hodgson announced that a more full-blown Meet the Miners day would also be held in the Autumn this year, likely in November.

March 31, 2011

The deadline for the third edition of the Ontario Mining Association’s high school video competition So You Think You Know Mining is midnight tonight.

Ontario high school students and schools will be eligible for $25,500 in prize money.

The So You Think You Know Mining awards ceremony will be held Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.  Watch for details!