Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. This article was published in the October, 2010 issue.
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Uncertainty in regulations and land tenure worries miners
Ontario may promote itself as being among the best mining jurisdictions in the world, but some industry executives polled in a Fraser Institute survey are second-guessing that blanket statement. A special mid-year report penned by researchers Fred McMahon and Miguel Cervantes raises some red flag issues for investment.
Confidence in Ontario continues to sag due to respondents’ concerns over government policy, dealings with First Nations, and uncertainty over whether a big chunk of Ontario’s untapped mineral resource will be set aside for protection.
“Mining is a long-term endeavor,” said Fred McMahon, vice-president of the Vancouver-based international public policy think tank. “That kind of instability is very damaging.”
Some mining companies accused the McGuinty government of trying to
“kill Ontario” and hinted that antimining environmental activist groups
have considerable weight in shaping public policy.
As commodity prices improve, Mc-Mahon said governments, unions and non-government organizations are finding mining an easy target to tear up existing agreements, drive up costs, and introduce “predatory taxes” that cause instability in investment.
McMahon said these dramatic changes in recent months prompted the Fraser Institute to release its firstever mid-year report card in August.