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.
Scores of company representatives from Ontario Mining Association member companies constructively presented their industry’s attributes and contributions to politicians, staff and public servants in the province’s main political arena yesterday. There was a full day of activities helping to bring mining from around the province to Queen’s Park. “The theme today is Mining Builds Communities,” said OMA President Chris Hodgson.
At an evening reception, Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, said “Meet the Miners is a long standing tradition for all those who care about the mining industry in Ontario and it has been a tremendous day. Mining is important to the economy and communities.”
Mr. Gravelle referred to the recently released OMA gold mine study “An Au-thentic Opportunity: The economic impacts of a new gold mine in Ontario” in his address. There are impressive statistics in the new OMA gold mine study and it provides an opportunity to educate the positive impact of mining.”
Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Wilson said “I am pleased to meet with the representatives of your Association. We want to make Ontario one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world and we know you want greater predictability and support on electricity pricing and skilled trades development.”
Mr. Wilson served as Minister of Northern Development and Mines in 2002 and 2003. He lauded the industry for its safety performance and for the industry’s strong support of charitable organizations.
NDP Mines Critic Michael Mantha urged the audience to “thank a miner.” “All the essential goods we use come from mining and the luxurious world that we enjoy is thanks to miners.” He asked for a show of hands of his NDP caucus members in the audience. Following a strong showing of raised arms he added “Mining is a big priority of the NDP.”
Prior to the evening reception in Legislature, the OMA held a board of directors meeting at a nearby venue. Also, key sessions were held with a number of politicians. Teams of mining industry representatives engaged in meetings with Progressive Conservative Interim Leader Jim Wilson, the NDP caucus and several Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentary Assistants. These teams included members from a variety of OMA member companies, which produce different mineral products in different parts of the province.
Earlier in the day, Meet the Miners Day and representatives from OMA member companies were recognized in the Legislature before Question Period. Paul Martin, President and CEO, Detour Gold; Phil du Toit, President and CEO, North American Palladium; John Mullally, Director of Corporate Affairs, Goldcorp; Scott Yarrow, Vice President Sustainability, Glencore; and, Peter McBride, Manager of Communications, Ontario Mining Association were on hand to receive greetings from Mr. Gravelle and Mr. Mantha. The Progressive Conservatives kicked-off Question Period with a mining related question.
The mining industry in Ontario in 2013 had 26,000 direct employees and about 50,000 people working in related manufacturing and processing industries. In 2013, the sector generated $9.8 billion in revenue, representing 23% of the national total.
An improved understanding of mining’s important role in the future of Ontario, both as a generator of employment and wealth, tax provider and as a provider of key materials for building a greener future, appears to be growing. The OMA has been holding Meet the Miners activities at Queen’s Park in various forms since 1978. The activities are intended to bring recognition – and appreciation — of the importance of the industry to the seat of the provincial government.