This has been a very badly kept secret. Ontario has been losing thousands of man-hours of work and natural resources worth thousands and probably millions of dollars. Highway 11 is being pounded daily by a flotilla of trucks and in both Latchford and Temagami there have been concerns about pedestrian and traffic safety.
It is known that the trucks are carrying mine concentrates from Sudbury to be refined in Noranda, Que.
There appears to have been a total news blackout. One might have expected the unions to be howling and protesting. But little or nothing has hit the headlines. Perhaps everyone is scared of the big mining companies.
All this may change Thursday evening when the Latchford town council will consider resolutions directed to Ontario government departments. They will point out that Hwy. 11 is the town’s Main Street. The heavy traffic is wearing down the recently renovated pavement and that the trucks often appear to be traveling in convoys of eight to nine vehicles which makes life very difficult for pedestrians and automobile drivers.
According to a reliable source, the Municipality of Temagami protested to the Ministry of Transport some months ago.
People with mining connections believe that what is happening at Sudbury is a repetition of the situation at Timmins not long ago. There, the Kidd Creek refinery was closed down with the loss of some 600 jobs. Concentrates are being shipped to Noranda mostly because Ontario’s Hydro rates are now excessive and cannot compete with other jurisdictions.
The situation is making many wonder about the future of the Ring of Fire mining development and the promised chromite smelter near Sudbury. The latest $1 billion Liberal boondoggle will drive Hydro rates even higher. Refining Ontario mined minerals may soon be a fiscal impossibility.
Others are suggesting that it is an extension of the Rick Bartolucci plans for Northern development. After killing off the Ontario Northland Railway, the idea is to depopulate Northern Ontario. All mining will be reduced to digging holes in the ground and everything of value is to be shipped out of the province.
Anything is possible but those trucks are still roaring up and down the highway carrying Ontario wealth and jobs to Quebec.
For the original version of this column, click here: http://www.nugget.ca/2013/10/11/ontario-jobs-driven-to-quebec