CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Good Afternoon. Thanks Michael for that kind introduction. I’d like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit.
I want to welcome to Toronto all of our friends from Northern Ontario and beyond. I’m excited to be here and to get a chance to talk to you about your work, and how it will inform the work that I’m going to do, along with our new government.
As I was on my way here today, I was thinking about how inspirational you are to a politician like me. As prospectors, a key part of your efforts come down to the belief – the deep seeded knowledge – that if you keep working and working, if you stay focused on your goal, eventually there will be a big pay-off.
In mining, just like in government, hope springs eternal! And trust me, I need that kind of motivation right now! But really, the work that you do holds many lessons for what I am working toward on behalf of this province. You are the embodiment of hard work, dedication and resolve.
It is not an industry for the weak of heart. But your association also bridges the expanse between Ontario’s history and its future.
Resource development – that unstoppable quest for value in our natural landscape – that is a proud part of who we are.
As a province, but also as a nation. This is the work on which Ontario has been built.
Mining is the reason that Toronto is the financial services centre of Canada.
Mining is the reason that so many of our northern communities exist, and continue to flourish.
Mining is the reason our economy is strong and our people are respected.
But you are also a forward facing industry.
You use modern technology and techniques in the pursuit of this oldest of Ontario professions.
You challenge yourselves to find new ways, new tools, which can help you evolve and prosper.
And, like all of Ontario’s proud industries, you are a network of individuals who come together in pursuit of a common goal.
Your people are your greatest asset.
You understand the need for smart, skilled workers who are trained in the realities of today’s marketplace.
Who understand resource exploration and development in the 21st century.
These are the lessons that I draw from your work, and which I will apply to my own efforts for this province:
Resolve, dedication, collaboration and innovation.
That’s where I will focus, and that’s where I look forward to working with you.
I resolve to do my part to support your industry and maintain Ontario’s pride of place in the global marketplace.
I am dedicated to building this province’s economy with your industry at top of mind.
In the spirit of ongoing collaboration, our team will work with you, and also with our First Nations partners and our local communities to ensure that mining in Ontario benefits us all.
We will work to ensure that we have the right infrastructure in place to help you do your best work.
So your people and your products can move quickly and efficiently across this province.
And we will support your people, too.
I want you to have workers who have the right skills for our time. Who are getting the best education, the best training possible to allow them to fully participate in this industry that means so much to our province.
Last week, my colleagues and I travelled to Sault Ste. Marie for our first cabinet meeting in the North.
It was great to be up there, in the beautiful landscape of this province.
But we weren’t there to sightsee.
We were there as part of our renewed focus on the unique interests of the North. And to send a message that those interests affect this whole province.
Our mineral and resource development sectors are a big part of that.
Your success is essential to our future prosperity as a province.
Your strengths are our strengths.
And our efforts will help support your goals, your work, your employees and communities and your friends.
I look forward to working with all of you so we can keep building a stronger province for all the people of Ontario.
Thank you. Merci. Meegwitch.