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.
Chris Hodgson is the President of the Ontario Mining Association
With regards to the article from mining opponents published April 22nd, [Getting a fair share for Ontario’s mineral resources] Ontario’s mining tax is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg with regards to the sector’s economic contribution to the province. The mining tax is in addition to all corporate taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes, permitting fees and other business taxes. In 2011, revenues to the three levels of government from the mining industry in Ontario exceeded $1 billion.
Benchmarking the cost to mine in Ontario with other jurisdictions requires apples to apples comparisons. Jurisdictions with higher mining tax rates have lower hydro costs and the governments cost share on infrastructure. In Ontario, we pay one of the highest rates in North America for electricity, and mining companies use their own capital for necessary infrastructure. Ontario’s tax rates are working. Ontario is seeing its share of Canadian exploration and mine development budgets grow in comparison to other provinces.
A 2012 University of Toronto study on the economics of mining, showed the sector in Ontario employs about 27,500 people directly, and another 50,000 indirectly in the fabrication and processing of minerals, while the mineral sector cluster employs close to a total of 200,000 people. It also noted mining’s average weekly wage is 60% higher than Ontario’s average industrial wage and the supply and services sector almost 95% higher. While there may not be as many union jobs as there were in the past, these are safe, high-tech and well-paying careers.
Canada wide analysis shows that over 112,000 new workers will be required in the mining sector by 2021. In some parts of the province, especially in the Far North, mineral resource development is critical to creating sustainable economic opportunities.
For example Aboriginal employment accounted for 9.7% of mining employment in Ontario in 2011, up from 9.5% in 2010 and mining is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginals in the country. Next weeks’ Northern Ontario Municipal Association Conference will see the release of a mining readiness strategy. A clear sign the industry is welcome in their communities.
While reduced mineral demand and prices are at the forefront of the news, mining remains well positioned to partner with the Ontario government on its efforts to create jobs, grow the economy and increase government revenues. So far, Premier Wynne is taking the advice of Northerners and staying the course on mining tax in order to help grow the economy.