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.
By all yardsticks, there was a record turnout of more than 200 delegates for the Ontario Mining Association’s Meet the Miners reception last week. Large contingents of MPPs, political staff, public service employees from key ministries and mining company representatives were on hand to celebrate the success of mining in Ontario and its contribution to the society and economy of this province.
The reception, which was held at the Sutton Place Hotel near Queen’s Park, followed a day of activities, which included an OMA board of directors meeting, a presentation by Ring of Fire Coordinator Christine Kaszycki, an address by Minister of Northern Development and Mines Rick Bartolucci and team meetings with several Cabinet Ministers and Opposition Leaders.
An improved understanding of mining’s important role in the future of Ontario, both as a generator of employment and wealth and as a provider of key materials for building a greener future, appears to be growing. For the second consecutive year mining received special attention in the Speech from the Throne at Queen’s Park.
In the Speech from the Throne delivered on November 22, amid strong messages of economic reality and challenges facing Ontario in the global economy, there was some optimism provided by mining. “In Ontario’s North, the mining sector is experiencing a historic and exciting boom. Your government remains fully committed to turning the vast, untapped potential of the Ring of fire into good, leading-edge Northern jobs.”
Perhaps in that context, it was appropriate that brief messages from all parties at the Meet the Miners reception stressed cooperation and building mining’s potential. “There may not be many times when all three parties are unanimous but we are unanimous here tonight in our recognition of the contribution of the mining industry,” said Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci. “Mining is creating opportunities and it has a positive impact on Ontario’s economy.”
Representing the Progressive Conservative Party at the Meet the Miners reception was Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka and PC Northern Development and Mines Critic. “We recognize the challenges but mining is a safe and environmentally responsible industry and it provides great employment opportunities in the North and the South.”
Michael Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin and NDP Northern Development and Mines Critic, represented his party at the podium during the Meet the Miners reception. “It is nice to see we can come to the same platform and build relationships to work together to help get the mining industry where we want it to be.”
Earlier in the day, teams of OMA members made presentations to PC Leader Tim Hudak, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and to the offices of the Ministers of Labour, Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Northern Development and Mines.
The OMA has been holding Meet the Miners activities at Queen’s Park in various forms for more than 25 years. It is intended to bring recognition of the importance of the industry to the seat of the provincial government.