The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
The partnership between government and industry that resulted in a diamond processing plant in Sudbury is the model for the kind of work the Liberals are doing to ensure business thrives in Ontario, says Premier Kathleen Wynne.
The premier visited Crossworks Manufacturing Ltd., for the second time, to kick off a northern tour in which she’s delivering a couple of messages. One is that her government’s commitment to create jobs and fuel the economy extends to all parts of Ontario, including Northern Ontario.
Another is that Wynne is premier of the entire province, not just ridings in which Liberals are elected. Under an agreement between De Beers Canada and the government of Canada, De Beers is making 10% of the annual rough diamond production from Victor Mine, in the James Bay Lowlands, available for processing in Ontario.
Crossworks was offered the opportunity by the province and the Diamond Trading Company to purchase about $35 million worth of rough stones a year and cut and polish them at the downtown Sudbury plant.
Wynne toured the plant where 35 experienced diamond cutters, the majority of them highly skilled tradespeople from Vietnam, were at work.
The premier got to hold what Crossworks spokesman Dylan Dix says is the largest diamond to be mined, cut and polished in Sudbury.
Calling the 35-carat diamond “awesome”, Wynne tried her hand at polishing the stone on a diamond polishing wheel.
“As long as I can’t make a mistake,” Wynne told experienced diamond cutter Cuong Nguyen. “Is it foolproof?”
Wynne said the partnership with her government, De Beers and Crossworks brought people to Canada with a “huge skill” and the opportunity to teach it to Ontarians.
One of the things she’s determined to do as premier is close the skills gap, she said.
When asked in a media scrum if her government would increase the percentage of diamonds that must be proccessed in Ontario, Wynne didn’t exactly say.
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