How Ontario provincial political parties seeking office on October 6th view mining

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.

The election campaign in Ontario is now officially underway.  On October 6, 2011, Ontario voters will determine who forms the next government in this province.  In advance of this election day, let’s take a look at what the major parties are saying about the mining industry in their official campaign documents.

The Liberal Party has packaged its election platform in the paper titled Forward Together.  This document both presents what the government has done during its last two terms of office and outlines plans, if elected, for a third term. It contains a section on mining – Northern Opportunity: The Best Mining Industry in the World.

“One of the most promising opportunities Ontario has seen in generations is the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario.  This massive mineral deposit is one of the most significant and exciting natural resources Ontario has, already attracting more than 50 companies who want to be part of the development.”

“We need to work together to seize its benefits just as we always have when supporting Ontario’s mining sector.  With our leadership, the entire province will be able to benefit economically from the Ring of Fire.  That is why we have made sure that the mining industry and the Ring of Fire are an important piece of our economic plan for Ontario,” said Forward Together.

The Progressive Conservative platform, as presented in Changebook and Changebook North, recognizes the mineral sector’s important role as a creator of wealth and strongly supports the responsible development of the industry.

“For over a century, mines have created billions of dollars for our economy and created tens of thousands of well-paying, long-term jobs.  The industry also has a huge role in our provincial and national economies, having helped the Toronto Stock Exchange become the leading global mining exchange,” said Changebook North. 

“Ontario needs a robust mining industry and the good, reliable high-paying jobs it brings.  A Tim Hudak government will be its strongest supporter. . . We will remove barriers by cutting red tape, getting energy costs under control, ensuring fair and strong land tenure, and developing partnerships to bring the investments in infrastructure that a strong mining industry requires.”

The Progressive Conservative campaign document also calls for the repeal of the Far North Act, allowing all Mining Tax revenue from new mines to stay in local communities and First Nations and to turn the Ring of Fire area into a job-creating reality.

The Ontario New Democratic Party’s main campaign document is Change That Puts People First.  The NDP proposes a “Buy Ontario to build Ontario plan,” which rewards job creators.  “If your company is building or upgrading your operations to create good jobs in Ontario, you deserve a break on your taxes.  We will create a 10% tax credit for companies that invest in buildings, machinery and equipment in Ontario.”  A training tax credit is also on the table.

“Ontario’s natural resources are owned by all of us,” says the NDP paper.  “We need to use our natural resources carefully and responsibly to build Ontario’s prosperity and protect them so they’re there for future generations.  Minerals like copper, nickel and zinc generate great wealth for all Ontarians.  We can’t allow processing plants to shut down in favour of eventually shipping ore to another country.  We will amend the mining act to say resources that are mined in Ontario must be processed in Ontario.”

In the NDP Respect for the North paper, the concept of keeping Mining Tax revenues in local municipalities and First Nations is presented along with a promise to establish an industrial hydro rate for northern industries.  The NDP also vows to not approve any foreign takeover of the Toronto Stock Exchange, to bring rising electricity prices under control.

The Green Party of Ontario advocated revisions for the Far North Act to ensure there is a sustainable resource industry.  “Northern Ontario provides resources that provide economic benefit to the province,” says the GPO.  “It’s time that government does its part to ensure that the economic benefits stay in northern communities.”

The GPO commits to working with local northern communities to ensure that future development is done in a sustainable manner that respects local communities, First Nations and the environment.  The GPO also commits to policies that ensure future developments in the North keep local processing plants, associated jobs and revenue in Northern communities. 

As the campaign starts, mining appears to be on the radar screen of all parties and the OMA will note the development of party ideas and promises and keep you informed of any changes.  Whatever the outcome of the October 6th election, mining will continue its role as a responsible partner contributing to the development of Ontario’s society and economy.

September 8, 2011
At the end of the most recent session in Ontario, the standing in the Legislature was 70 seats for the Liberals, 24 for the Progressive Conservatives, 10 for the NDP and three seats were vacant.

Since 1867, this is Ontario’s 40th general election.

Since 1867, Ontario has had 24 premiers.