Caruso Club, Sudbury, Ontario
Check Against Delivery
Good afternoon everyone. Bonjour tout le monde. This certainly has been an amazing few weeks in the mining capital of Canada with great investment news and scientific celebration.
Recently, in the span of about ten days we had the Cliffs decision to locate a $1.8 billion chromite smelter in our city, …the official opening of the internationally renowned SNOLAB research facility,
… and a provincial government announcement that Sudbury has been approved for a casino that may be built downtown, further contributing to the centre’s renewal.But first, I would like to start off with an amazing number: $6.3 Billion!
That is the current value of mining investment, confirmed or planned for Sudbury, over the next five years or so. This only includes capital projects by Vale, Cliffs, KGHM and Xstrata Nickel.
That six billion dollars does not include potential investments by the growing supply and service sector, government and
many other non-mining activities that will tap into these enormous projects.
I can’t think of a better time to be Mayor of this great city. It doesn’t get any better than this! There’s an incredible sense of energy and prosperity in the air. We all feel it.
The restaurants are full. The vacancy rates are low. Housing prices are going up.
At no additional cost, the city has hired three more people
in its planning department to handle all the new building
In 2011, the total value of residential construction was $127.5
million, compared to $76.7 million in 2010. That’s a 66per
Sudbury is an island of prosperity in a world of economic
In a May 1st speech, Bank of Canada Governor Mark
Carney said that “commodity prices are likely to remain
high for longer than previous booms.” He added that
Canada is well positioned in this “commodity super cycle.”
Sudbury is the epicenter of Canada’s hard-rock mining
Laurentian economics professor David Robinson recently
stated that in the 25 years of living in Sudbury, he has never
been more optimistic about the local economy and jobs.
Without a doubt Sudbury is booming!
And no one in this entire country can begrudge our
community its moment in the sun. No, I should really say our
decade or two in the sun!
Over the past few decades, Sudbury faced many
challenges due to lower global demand for nickel and
mining productivity improvements that needed fewer
We hunkered down and worked damn hard to attract new
The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, the
Geological Survey of Ontario and the Canada Revenue
Agency came to Sudbury, providing stable and well-paying
We built a modern hospital and created a new medical
school jointly with Thunder Bay. As a result, we are attracting
specialists and are seeing medical research conducted on
an ongoing basis.
Sudbury established a third post-secondary institute, Collège
Boréal and along with Cambrian and Laurentian has
become a thriving education centre.
Science North, Dynamic Earth and the Theatre Centre were
built. We also attracted many big box stores and ultimately
have become a tourist destination.
Sudbury has made tremendous strides and succeeded in
diversifying the local economy away from the mining sector.
This is due to participation of community builders like you, in
this room, who are always looking towards the future.
But, by the middle of last decade, there were dramatic
changes around the globe. The world saw Sudbury’s
mineral wealth in a new light.
And the community needed to refocus and strategically
build on our mining roots which have always been there –
boom or bust – for almost 130 years.
That global seismic change could be summed up in one
A country of about 1.3 billion people – almost 20 per cent of
the planet’s population – has been modernizing and
industrializing at an incredibly rapid pace.
It has been often stated that China needs to build two cities
the size of Toronto and Sydney, Australia every year. They
are experiencing the largest rural to urban human migration
in the history of mankind.
India, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam and many
other developing countries are also developing their
economies but at a slower pace.
Regardless of the current economic uncertainty, the
minerals that we dig out of the ground are needed in a
resource-starved world. In that world, a resource rich
community like Greater Sudbury is rare.
Let’s start with the most recent announcement that I
am really excited about. Cliffs Natural Resources plans to
build a $1.8 billion-dollar chromite smelter near Capreol, at
the former Moose Mountain Mine site.
Last September, I led a group of community leaders to
Cleveland to meet with Cliffs officials and highlighted
Sudbury’s many advantages including rail access, power
supply, a skilled workforce and our long history of mining. As
you all know we were successful in closing the deal for this
vital investment in our future.
The smelter will require about 450 people to build the facility
and provide about 450 good paying multi-generational
And speaking of multi-generational jobs, let’s remember
that the Vale Copper Cliff smelter was built in 1930. There is
an incredible amount of history connected with that facility.
It played a vital role in World War Two when Sudbury was
the source of almost 95 percent of allies’ nickel which was
critical for military production. Every tank, plane, aircraft
carrier, and other military hardware contained some of our
Vale is spending $2 billion for pollution controls to further
reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 70 percent over current
During my previous employment there as a safety
supervisor, I became very familiar with the smelter
I think we all remember the days of sore throats and
coughing when the wind blew the sulphur emissions towards
town from the old Inco smokestacks.
The CLEAN AER Project, is the most significant environmental
investment in the history of Ontario, if not the entire country.
Vale is also spending $760 million to complete Totten mine,
the first new Vale mine in Sudbury in almost 40 years. It has
also progressed to the pre-feasibility stage on the Victor-
Capre deposit near the airport.
In total, Vale is spending $3.5 billion on these and other
projects: a resounding long-term financial commitment to
KGHM – the former Quadra/FNX – is spending $750 million to
bring its Victoria deposit into production.
This mine which is located in the east side of the basin, near
Totten mine, is one of the most significant discoveries in the
past four decades due to its high copper and precious
And last but not least, Xstrata Nickel which is spending $119
million on the Fraser Morgan deposit that will extend the
mine life of the Fraser Complex by five years to 2025…
…and investing an estimated $200 million at its Sudbury
smelter for environmental improvements which is currently in
the feasibility stage.
In addition, we must not forget the company’s $920-million
dollar Nickel Rim South project, completed in 2010. This was
the first new mine in the Sudbury Basin in thirty years.
That project also included a $100-million expansion of its
Strathcona Mill. Together, they were an early sign of the
investment bonanza to come.
In total, Sudbury is experiencing $6.3 billion of confirmed
and planned mining investment.
Without a doubt, we are the richest mining district in
North America and are among the top four hard-rock
mining regions in the world.
In 2011, the value of mineral production in Ontario,
Canada’s chief producer was $10.7 billion. Forty percent of
that activity happens in the Sudbury basin.
But we have three other mining related sectors or clusters
that position Sudbury as a global centre of mineral
A fair portion of that $6 billion will filter into the local/regional
mining supply and service sector.
There are more jobs in the supply and services hard-rock
mining cluster – the largest concentration in Canada and
possibly North America – than in the mines.
The sector employs about 13,800 people in Sudbury with an
economic value estimated at $4 billion in 2011.
Throughout northern Ontario, the supply and service sector
employs about 23,000 and produced roughly $5.6 billion of
economic activity last year, based on a recent study.
SAMSSA Executive Director Dick DeStefano estimates that
about $1.1 billion is spent by the local big miners on routine
supply and services for their annual operations.
Local companies like Penguin Automated Systems,
Symboticware, Four Leaf Solutions and Mining Technologies
Inc., just to mention a few, are not only supplying local
miners, but exporting their innovative products and
knowledge around the world.
Mining in the 21st century is increasingly technology driven.
That is clearly shown by the enormous amount of mineral
sector research taking place in Sudbury.
In fact, it would not surprise me if more underground mining
research takes place in Sudbury than anywhere else in
Institutions like CEMI, NORCAT, MIRARCO, CAMIRO and the
federal government’s Canmet facilities are helping turn
Sudbury into Canada’s Silicon Valley of hard-rock mining.
In addition, Xstrata operates a world-class Technology
Centre in Falconbridge.
And at the Copper Cliff Mine 114 Orebody Demonstration
Plant, Vale conducts extensive research, including the
innovative Rail-Veyor technology.
We also must remember that our city’s expertise in
environmental restoration, is internationally recognized …
… and that the Vale Living With Lakes Centre, is a global
centre of excellence for freshwater protection and
Furthermore, over the past few decades, we planted 9.2
million trees, transforming our sulfur-damaged moonscape
into a reforested vista of green.
I am currently in conversation with our CAO Doug
Nadorozny in regards to a UNESCO application, to make
the city’s old roasting beds a world-heritage site, based on
our re-greening efforts.
This abundance of local mining expertise is of enormous
benefit to students at Laurentian, Cambrian and Collège
Boréal who intend to enter the mineral sector.
Sudbury has one of the largest clusters of post-secondary
mining education in the country.
The graduating engineers, geologists, technicians and other
skilled trades will find promising futures as many experts are
predicting labour shortages due to retirements and
increased global mineral demand.
And we must not forget the internationally recognized
SNOLAB research facility – the deepest and cleanest on the
planet – located two kilometres underground at Vale’s
Scientists from across Canada and around the world focus
on pure astrophysics research that sometimes results in
technology with real-world applications like GPS devices,
PET scanners and MRIs.
We should all be proud of this innovative and globally
With a booming resource economy, I can’t think of a
better time to focus on the renewal of our downtown. I can
still recall when going downtown with my family, was an
exciting event. I am very proud that council endorsed the
Greater Sudbury Downtown Master Plan and Action
I know there has been some concern about who will pay for
many of these proposed projects.
However, let’s remember that this is a visionary document
that will help guide the physical and cultural evolution of
the central core during the next thirty years. The plan will
also provide a solid basis for new private sector and
Although it was in the works before the plan, the new
Laurentian School of Architecture is a tremendous milestone
and a great starting point in the transformation of
The institute will be the first new school of architecture in
Canada in 40 years and is the only bilingual one outside of
The school is scheduled to open at the Market Square site in
September 2013 with 60-70 first-year students and will
eventually be able to accommodate 400, as well as 30 staff
A similar project in Brantford, Ontario, where a number of
post-secondary institutions offer programs mostly in the
downtown “academic district,” proved very successful.
The resulting influx of students studying and socializing in
Brantford’s downtown has had a positive impact on local
businesses and generated new private sector investment.
As we move forward with the Action Strategy, we will focus
on the 25 low to no cost action items such as continuing to
work on the renewal of Market Square.
…continuing discussions with Cambrian College about how
we can help grow its downtown presence,
…and continue our discussions with CP Rail around the best
use of their downtown properties.
Moving forward, I am focusing on the rail lands
Innovation and Technology Park and the Multi-Use
The Inno-Tech Park initiative has the potential to ensure
more people working in the downtown area by
redeveloping about five acres of rail land bordering Elm,
Elgin and Lorne Streets.
This project could also leverage significant private sector
involvement as there are businesses looking for new space
in the downtown core that is suitable for their needs. We are
currently working with stakeholders on this initiative.
The time for a downtown Multi-Use Conference Centre may
be closer due to the recent decision by the Ontario Lottery
and Gaming Corporation to sever a revenue sharing
agreement with slots and race tracks.
OLG has requested information from private sector
operators on how they would build and operate modern
Sudbury has been approved for 600 slot machines and
there has been much discussion of a casino located in our
downtown. Council passed a motion that we are in support
of the gaming industry and its revenue in this community.
This is a tremendous opportunity to move forward with the
Downtown Master Plan with government participation and
private sector money. Stay tuned.
Sudbury has an affinity for movies. Since 1989, Cinefest
Sudbury International Film Festival has been thrilling local
audiences with a wide variety of choices featuring the best
in Canadian and International cinema.
Not only are we excited about watching films, increasingly,
Sudbury is also the location for film, television and animation
It is interesting to note that Collège Boréal offers programs
that train people in production skills such as sound, lighting
and set design.
In the past year several important film projects were shot in
Sudbury including “The Truth”,” A Little Bit Zombie”, “Chasing
Iris”, “The Lesser Blessed” and TFO’s popular series, “Les Blues
So when a local entrepreneur approached me with his plan
for a Sudbury production studio, I was pleased to help make
David Anselmo and his backers are now turning the former
Barrydowne Arena into northern Ontario’s first film studio
and, along with other producers, aim to turn Greater
Sudbury into a regional production hub, another economic
Film production generates lots of business. For example, the
movie “The Truth” resulted in nearly $four million in
economic spinoffs in just a few weeks.
The Northern Ontario Film Studio will allow Greater Sudbury
to capture a larger share of provincial film production. In
2011, the value of film production was worth $2.4 billion to
the Ontario economy.
And let’s be honest, having Hollywood actors like Andy
Garcia, Eva Longoria and Forrest Whitaker working in
Sudbury gives an enormous boost to our national image.
As you may have read in the paper, the still very handsome
Jason Priestley of Beverly Hills 90210 fame was in Greater
Sudbury. As it happens, I was meeting with Mississauga
Mayor, Hazel McCallion….I think that was a deliberate set
up, and my lucky staff met with Priestley instead….although I
did get to meet Andy Garcia.
Sudbury is definitely getting ready for its Hollywood close-up!
Without a doubt, Sudbury is booming.
However, the previously mentioned shortage of skilled
workers is becoming a major problem for industries.
In a globalized world, competition for these skilled
professionals is fierce. The world is their oyster and they can
go anywhere. As a member of the GSDC Board of Directors
we are working with the Chamber to assist in developing an
action plan to get these people here.
Surprisingly, the old stereotypical ideas of Sudbury still exist
much to our chagrin.
One of council’s top priorities is to change our image.
I am delighted the current issue of Ontario Summer
Magazine, which is distributed across the province features,
on the cover, a photo of a mother and her children on the
boardwalk in front of Science North.
Yet how many times do we continue to hear of people who
are shocked or surprised at how much this community has
changed since the 1970s? We all need to play a role in
promoting Greater Sudbury as the vibrant, progressive and
confident community we know it to be.
The city is working to improve communications and
marketing to better tell the Sudbury Story.
We have completely redesigned our tourism section of our
website. Our other economic development pages are
being redeveloped for launch later this year.
Our role is to sell this city to potential investors, but just as
importantly to potential new residents.
We need to enlist the entire community to become our
Ambassadors when they travel outside the city.
That’s just, good, public relations.
With many retirements and ensuing shortages of skilled
labour, our future growth and prosperity depends on the
image we project.
Fortunately, we live in one of the most dynamic and
beautiful cities in Canada with hundreds of lakes.
We have to seize these opportunities and make a plan for
Once we get them up here for a visit, the rest is easy.
We have ALMOST six and half billion reasons why they
Thank you, Merci.