Will the Ontario Government Strengthen or Hold Back the Province’s Booming Mining Sector – by Gregory Reynolds

Gregory Reynolds - Timmins ColumnistThe Dark Days for the British Columbia mining industry began in 1991 with the election of a New Democratic Party government. The introduction of intolerable tax levels eventual led in some instances to mining companies paying 103 per cent taxes on income.

It led to 10 years of stagnation. Money, jobs and people fled the province. The question that mining people in Ontario are asking these days is whether that could happen here.

The lesson of B.C. should be enough for a provincial government to be careful in its handling of an industry that is cyclical in nature and dependent on economic factors largely beyond its control. It seems politicians find certain elementary facts hard to accept.

The Canadian mining industry operates in an environment where prices and demand are determined elsewhere. Commodity prices are not set in Canada.

Payment is in U.S. dollars and therefore the monetary policies of our giant neighbour to the south are more important than those under the control of Queen’s Park or even Ottawa.

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Ontario Mining Municipalities Want Fair Share of Tax Revenues – Gregory Reynolds

Gregory Reynolds - Timmins ColumnistThe fight by mining municipalities to win fair tax treatment from the Ontario government is entering a new phase. The drive is spearheaded by the two largest mining communities in Canada, Sudbury and Timmins. The two cities have accepted, finally, that in unity there is strength.

The second fact they have embraced is that there are too many voices attempting to get the ear of the politicians from the Golden Horseshoe.

There are just too many organizations that try to present the numerous problems facing Northern Ontario to Queen’s Park. This has enabled successive governments, and all three political parties are equally guilty when in power, to play the divide and conquer game.

Also part of the new reality accepted by northern representatives is that crying softly, or shouting loudly, doesn’t win friends or influence people. Hard facts, backed by statistics and logical arguments, are needed to achieve their goal of obtaining the financial help required to improve the quality of life in the region.

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