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.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty joined representatives of all three political parties at Queen´s Park to show their support for the contributions of the mineral industry at the Ontario Mining Association´s Meet the Miners Day event in the Legislature. In speaking to the audience of approximately 200 people, Premier McGuinty thanked those in the mining industry for working hard to build the quality of life we enjoy in this province. Meet the Miners is an OMA event at Queen´s Park involving member companies and their employees, which helps shine the spotlight on the industry in provincial governmental circles.
“While many things have changed in the world since last year, the contributions to the society and economy of Ontario of mining, especially given current global economic circumstances, are more important than ever to communities and the province,” said OMA President Chris Hodgson. “On behalf of our members, we want to be — and are — a part of the solution to help draw Ontario out of this recession.”
“In this age, we may be drowning in information but we are thirsting for wisdom,” said Premier McGuinty. “I want to thank miners for their work ethic and for pulling together in tough times. Keep doing what you are doing and we can meet our shared responsibility of building a better Ontario for our children.”
Mining in Ontario is a $10.7 billion annual business, which provides the province with a trade surplus of $3.3 billion, high productivity, high wages, investment of $2.7 billion in research, exploration, construction and equipment, more than $600 million in corporate tax revenues and a collective payroll of about $1.2 billion.
Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle said “I am proud to be moving forward in modernizing the Mining Act and that the contributions of the mining industry in Ontario are extraordinary. There is tremendous resiliency in the mining industry and despite the economic downturn, mining continues to play an important role in the economy of the province.”
Progressive Conservative Leader Bob Runciman brought greetings and support from his party. In addition, he pointed out the important role of mining in improving the circumstances of Aboriginals and for its ability to provide training, education and employment opportunities for First Nations in the province. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said “we value the industry for the good quality jobs it provides and not just in Northern Ontario. There are lots of mining jobs in Toronto.” She also acknowledged the high tech nature of the industry and its contributions to building a good quality of life for families and communities.
OMA Chairman George Flumerfelt, President of North Bay based mining contractor JS Redpath, spoke about the great geological endowment Ontario is blessed with and said how the title of the new OMA economic report “Ontario Mining: A Made-in-Ontario Success Story” truly sums up the nature of the industry. “With the right people, the right policies and the right framework, mining can dispense benefits to everyone in Ontario, which far outweigh the size of the industry. With the geological potential of Ontario and the drive of the industry, we will be a part of Ontario coming out of this recession and we will be around for a long time.”
Earlier on Meet the Miners Day, which was held on March 25, 2009, teams of OMA executives, mine managers and specialists held meetings with Mr. Gravelle, Mr. Runciman, Ms Horwath and several Cabinet Ministers.