This article was originally published in the Sudbury Star on October 8, 2004
In July, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein proudly announced that his province’s massive debt has been slain. However, he could not have accomplished that historic feat without the development of northern Alberta’s booming oilsands economy and ensuing resource royalties. Sadly, Ontario, struggling with a $142-billion debt and a $100-billion infrastructure deficit, is largely ignoring the mineral rich potential of its north.
According to the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, over the next 50 years the world will use five times all the mineral supplies that have ever been mined up to the year 2000.
China, India, Brazil and other emerging countries are rapidly industrializing their economies, which require a wide variety of base metals, many of which could be found in one of the world’s richest geological regions — northern Ontario. We are entering a commodity boom that could last for decades.
Historically, northern Ontario’s mineral wealth has provided high paying jobs, supplied significant tax revenues to Queen’s Park and helped settle much of the region. The mining sector still generates enormous wealth and industrial activity.