NEWS RELEASE: Northern Ontario Communities Seek Share of Mining Tax

Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM): www.fonom.org

Date published: Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Northern municipalities want an equitable share of the rich mining tax revenue currently collected by the provincial government.  The Province has collected over half a billion dollars in Ontario Mining Tax revenue over the past 5 years.

Alan Spacek, President of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) stated,  “Northern Ontario is a vast storehouse of mineral wealth.  In recent years, Northern Ontario has returned record levels of revenue to the provincial government.  Northern Ontario is once again a major economic contributor.”

Tom Laughren, Vice President of FONOM and Mayor of Timmins noted,  “Unfortunately for Northern municipalities, much of the wealth generated by mining leaves the region in the form of corporate profits, Federal and Provincial corporate income tax, and resource specific taxes or fees such as the Ontario Mining Tax. This has created significant hardship for all Northerners.  We are facing increasing cost pressures related to the provision of vital local services and an additional source of revenue would be of great benefit to our people.”

One glimmer of hope is in the form of a key recommendation contained in the Ontario Mining Association’s (OMA) March, 2011 report Action Plan for Ontario: Taking Advantage of a Critical Window on Opportunity.   Chris Hodgson, President of the OMA stated  “The OMA would also like to see local municipal and First Nation communities have a greater share in the benefits of mining through the existing levels of mining tax.”

President Spacek agrees.  “We support entering into respectful discussions between municipalities, First Nations and the Provincial Government, culminating in the sharing of Ontario Mining Tax revenues with municipalities and First Nations.”

Mayor Tom Laughren expressed hope for this collaborative approach.  “FONOM is eager to work with all stakeholders – municipalities, First Nations, other orders of government and the mining industry to get our fair share of the wealth that is generated in the North each and every day”.

FONOM and the OMA welcome dialogue on this important matter with all affected stakeholders and welcome all political parties to address this issue in the development of their respective party platforms for the upcoming provincial election.

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FONOM’s membership is made up of 110 municipalities, towns and cities in Northeastern Ontario. FONOM acts in an advocacy role in relation to political and economic issues of concern in Northern Ontario.

For more information, contact:

Alan Spacek, Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, Tel: (705) 335-0001

Tom Laughren, Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities,  Tel: (705) 266-5804                        

Chris Hodgson, Ontario Mining Association, Tel: (416) 364-9301

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