TORONTO – The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has produced a report trumpeting the tens of billions of dollars in economic activity that mineral development in the Ring of Fire could generate. In the first 10 years alone, projects will generate $9.4 billion in new economic activity and sustain 5,500 jobs annually, according to the study, Beneath the Surface: Uncovering the Economic Potential of Ontario's Ring of Fire.
Governments at all levels stand to reap rewards from development in the Ring of Fire as well. They could benefit from $1.95 billion in taxes in the first 10 years of operation.
Within the first 32 years of operation, a developed Ring of Fire will generate more than $25 billion in economic activity across many sectors in Ontario, according to the study. Financial services will enjoy revenues of $2.7 billion. Wholesale and retail trade sectors will get $1.2 billion. The manufacturing sector stands to gain $600 million and the utilities sector $500 million.
"Our study makes it clear that the short and long term economic impacts of the Ring of Fire extend far beyond mining," says Allan O'Dette, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "It's time to broaden the Ring of Fire conversation to include all of Ontario, not just the Far North."
Thanks to the Chamber for providing a timely look at the potential economic benefits of developing the Ring of Fire. Leaving $25 billion in the ground is not acceptable for a province that has lost so much of its manufacturing sector since 2008. We need the jobs, growth and optimism that comes from creating new prosperity, not just for the miners involved but for many other economic sectors.
Good for the Chamber in its attempt to broaden the discussion about the Ring of Fire – to include all Ontarians not only those who live in the north. Eliminating the "them" and "us" mentality is part of an inclusive culture.
Most importantly, the Chamber offers a 13-step action plan for developing the Ring of Fire. The report addresses the lack of infrastructure, aboriginal community needs, the labour market, environmental regulation, and capturing more value-added processes in the province. The Chamber further calls for making development of the Ring of Fire a national priority.
Anyone remotely interested in the Ring of Fire – for its mineral potential or otherwise – should have a copy of this report. Read Beneath the Surface by clicking here.
R. J. Bradshaw
The natives want a significant free interest in the access corridor, road or railway. After payment of escalating yearly toll charges on the access corridor, will the project still remain economically feasible? Very doubtful.