TORONTO – The Ontario Chamber of Commerce
released its report, Digging Deeper: Strengthening Ontario's Mining Advantage
, today. In it the Chamber urges provincial and federal governments to take action supporting Ontario’s mining industry.
One of the top recommendations is to increase investment in northern infrastructure because it plays such a key role in mining development in Ontario. A co-ordinated approach between the province and the federal government is necessary to “harmonize” their efforts to make tax dollars go as far as possible.
The Chamber made several other important recommendations. It wants to see Ontario’s flow-through share tax credit expanded to 20% from the current 5% rate. It wants to see more money invested in mining research and innovation. It wants to create global demand for Ontario mining expertise to create new business opportunities and growth.
In general terms, the report mentions the need to reduce regulatory red tape and uncertainty. Specifically, it calls for creating a resource revenue framework between governments and aboriginal stakeholders to provide certainty to affected communities.
None of these suggestions, except perhaps a government regulated revenue sharing plan, comes as a surprise to the mining industry. We have been saying among ourselves for years that such recommendations need to be implemented at both the provincial and federal levels.
But if the Ontario Chamber of Commerce can take its message to a wider audience – those who typically have no idea how reliant they are on the mineral industry – perhaps mining will benefit from more supporters.