Ontario Mining Association welcomes “new” mines minister

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 Ontario Mining Association would like to offer its congratulations – and re-congratulations – to the province’s new Minister of Northern Development and Mines Rick Bartolucci.  Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty had his new Cabinet sworn in yesterday.  This is the first Cabinet appointments following the October 6 election.

The new Cabinet is trimmed down to 22 and all members are familiar faces.  Mr. Bartolucci, who represents the riding of Sudbury, was elected for a fifth term of office.  He previously served as Minister of Northern Development and Mines from 2003 to 2007 before handling other portfolios — Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.  This time around he has the additional duty of being Chair of Cabinet.

Mr. Bartolucci understands mining and Northern Ontario and the OMA looks forward to working with him again to promote and encourage the responsible development of the province’s mineral resources to benefit all Ontarians.
The OMA would like to thank outgoing Mines Minister Michael Gravelle, who served as Minister of Northern Development and Mines from 2007 to 2011.  In 2009, responsibilities for Forestry were added to his portfolio.  Mr. Gravelle, who represents the riding of Thunder Bay-Superior North, was elected for his fifth term of office in 2011 and he will still be involved in mining issues through his new appointment as Minister of Natural Resources.  He takes the Forestry portfolio with him to the Ministry of Natural Resources. 

Other key Cabinet appointments see Dwight Duncan staying on as Minister of Finance, Brad Duguid moving to Economic Development and Innovation, Laurel Broten to Education, Jim Bradley to Environment, Chris Bentley to Energy, Linda Jeffrey to Labour, Deb Matthews to Health and Glen Murray to Training, Colleges and Universities.

During the recent election, all major parties included constructive initiatives for Ontario’s mineral industry, many of which appear in the OMA’s vision for the future of mining.  The full document is available on the OMA website at www.oma.on.ca.  Commitments to mine development, improvements in permitting and approvals, energy cost management proposals and the sharing of existing tax revenues were contained in party platforms.

Premier McGuinty is on the record as saying “at least six mines are reopening and four new mines are expected to open by the end of 2012 and we’ll open at least eight new mines in the next 10 years.”  The government has also said the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program will be extended beyond its original 2013 expiry date and will be made permanent. 

Mining is expanding in Ontario and attracting major capital investments. 

The OMA and its members look forward to working with Premier McGuinty, Minister Bartolucci, Minister Gravelle, their Cabinet colleagues and all members of the Legislature to grow mining’s contributions to the economy and society of Ontario and help meet the commitment for new mine openings in the province.